M, King’s Bodyguard

Niall Leonard. Pantheon, $26.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5247-4905-7
An assassination plot drives this suspenseful historical thriller from Leonard (the Crusher trilogy). In 1901, Queen Victoria’s grandson Kaiser Wilhelm arrives in England shortly before her death. Wilhelm is slated to take part in the funeral procession in London, along with the new British monarch, Edward VII, and other dignitaries. Det. Chief Supt. William Melville, the real-life head of England’s Special Branch, who’s considered “Europe’s most feared policeman” for his strenuous efforts to protect his country, gets a tip about a plot to kill the Kaiser during the procession and labors desperately to foil it. He’s aided by Wilhelm’s bodyguard, Gustav Steinhauer, who agrees to keep the danger from his charge, but whose true allegiances are uncertain. Melville must also maneuver around his superior, Assistant Commissioner Robert Anderson, who achieved his rank from political connections and is jealous of Melville’s skills. After some of his best men are killed, Melville suspects a leak. Leonard makes his lead sympathetic without glossing over the brutality Melville employs to do his job. Fans of The Day of the Jackal will be pleased. Agent: Valerie Hoskins, Valerie Hoskins Assoc. (U.K.). (July)
Reviewed on : 04/28/2021
Release date: 05/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book - 978-1-5247-4906-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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