cover image A Prince and a Spy

A Prince and a Spy

Rory Clements. Pegasus Crime, $26.95 (480p) ISBN 978-1-64313-793-3

At the start of Clements’s outstanding fifth spy thriller featuring American professor Tom Wilde, the first to be published in the U.S., Prince George, the Duke of Kent and brother to George VI, embarks on a covert diplomatic mission to Stockholm, Sweden, in 1942. There, the duke meets a German cousin, Prince Philipp von Hessen, who suggests an accommodation that would preserve the British Empire while Germany protects a federal Europe against “the Asiatic hordes.” The duke is skeptical but agrees to continue the dialogue privately. Back in London, Wilde, an OSS operative, is approached by former student, Peter Cazerove, who admits he betrayed his employers at the War Office by revealing the details of an Allied raid in France to the Nazis, leading to its disastrous failure. Before taking poison, Cazerove says, without specifics, that he also did something even worse. After Wilde learns the Duke of Kent has just died in an airplane crash, he suspects the crash was no accident and Cazerove was involved. Clements (the John Shakespeare series) makes the details of the era’s tradecraft plausible, and his characters, both fictional and real, fully realized. Ken Follett fans will be engrossed. (Sept.)