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Angels in the Gloom: A Novel (World War I Book 3) by [Perry, Anne]
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4.3 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Length: 368 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This powerful and intense third novel in Perry's WWI series (after 2004's Shoulder the Sky) continues the Reavley family's anguished search for the "Peacemaker," a shadowy figure responsible for their parents' murders two years earlier, and now intent on Anglo-German world domination as a means toward world peace. After Chaplain Joseph Reavley is badly wounded in Flanders attempting to rescue fellow Brits under fire, he returns home to bucolic St. Giles for rehabilitation, but finds the village consumed by issues raised by the war. Perry's deeply held antiwar feelings are again apparent in this moving story in which "the searing scarlet of grief" destroys families of loved ones lost in the service, and the local vicar questions fundamental beliefs in the wake of mounting casualties. When Theo Blaine, a scientist working on a secret weapon to end the war, is mysteriously slain, the town is torn apart by fears of a spy in their midst. Joseph's brother, Matthew, an intelligence expert, must work with seductive Irish double agent Detta Hannassey to determine the extent of Germany's knowledge of Britain's war strategies, despite his revulsion for her duplicity. A climactic U-boat hunt and naval battle conclude this stirring work.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The third entry in Perry's World War I series moves from the horror of the trenches to the English countryside, where chaplain Joseph Reavley, wounded at the front, has returned to recuperate under his sister's Hannah's care. Still fresh is his grief for their parents, both killed by the mysterious Peacemaker, who, in the guise of seeking an end to the conflict, is sabotaging Britain's war effort. The murder of a scientist whose work might have ensured Allied success leads Joseph (and his brother, Matthew, who works for British intelligence) on a twisted trail that they hope will lead to the Peacemaker. As in previous books in this series and in her Victorian detective series, Perry creates a meticulously detailed backdrop, whether home front or frontlines, while leaving plenty of room for her characters to contemplate issues of honor, loyalty, and love: Will Joseph return to the front or minister to the bereft at home? Will Matthew's growing affection for Irish double agent Detta Hannassey interfere with his mission? The characters, familiar now after two books, grow stronger and richer here, as Perry illuminates the emotional and physical character of war and asks the inevitable question, At what cost peace? Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 782 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345490509
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 30, 2005)
  • Publication Date: August 30, 2005
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCKC2O
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,268 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tosca on November 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was a little surprised at the reviewer who thought that the quality of this series was not up to the Pitt and Wolf series. My opinion is that it's quite the opposite. I have enjoyed Perry's earlier works but considered them a little lightweight. This WWI series is anything but. I think the author wrestles admirably with some timeless issues - war, is it ever justified, at what cost? does God exist? if he/she does, what difference does it make? etc. I love the characters and have gotten great benefit out of the general philosophical debates. True, the 'mysteries' in this series are not terribly compelling (who is the Peacemaker? Who killed the scientist?), but that is such a tangential part of the series that I would not fault her for that. I am very much looking forward to the next installment. I think this represents the author's best effort yet.
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Format: Hardcover
Anne Perry continues even at this late date to mystify for all the right reasons. Not content to rest on the laurels of her two historical mystery series --- one featuring William Monk, the other concerning Charlotte and Thomas Pitt --- she introduced a third that has become known as the World War I novels. ANGELS IN THE GLOOM, the third of this fine series after NO GRAVES AS YET and SHOULDER THE SKY, continues the saga of the Reavley family, or specifically the Reavley siblings ---Joseph, Matthew, Judith and Hannah --- all of whom are involved in primary or secondary roles in the British military effort during the early days of World War I.

While these tales are primarily mysteries, Perry delves into war and romance as well. Indeed, Perry's powers of description are fully revealed in ANGELS IN THE GLOOM, as her descriptions of war on land and sea are so realistic and riveting that they almost overshadow the plotlines they support. The primary mystery in this series continues to revolve around a powerful, shadowy figure known as The Peacemaker, who is determined that the hostilities will end quickly, even if it means the ultimate subjugation of Great Britain to Germany. His machinations have already caused the death of the Reavleys' parents, giving them dual reasons --- revenge and patriotism --- for bringing his actions to an end.

In the meantime Joseph, on leave to home after sustaining grievous wounds on the front lines while pursuing his duties as a chaplain, finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery when Theo Blaine is found brutally murdered in his own backyard.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We get to know Hannah and Archie better, and have an excellent

murder mystery, along with a great sea battle. I couldn't put

the book down, and am distressed that I'll have to wait (a year?)

for the next one.
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Format: Paperback
I thought I had written a review about this book, but found out I hadn't. I've been reading so much about WWI both nonfictional and fictional, that I am getting behind. I am really enjoying these particular novels of Anne Perry. I've read some of her other mysteries, and though they are often good and interesting, she has not been one of my favorite authors for books that I read for enjoyment.

Perry is weaving a series about a family whose lives are altered not only by the war, but also the death of the parents of the family. The parents were murdered, and the now grown-up children of the family are not only dealing with their own families and their service to their country in the war, but they are trying to determine who killed their parents, who were apparently on to someone in British government who was trying to bring peace to the world in such a way as to force democratic countries like England and the U.S. to give up the freedoms we take so much for granted.

This particular book is about three or four books into the series and should not be read until the first ones are read. The reader will be confused if they don't know the background to the whole story. One of the main characters is a brother who chose to go into the ministry and then served overseas during the war. I cannot begin to imagine the horrors that chaplains had to deal with then, how to comfort those young men who were dying far away from home and from their families, trying to give courage to those who needed it when the war seemed so senseless and knowing the generals behind the lines were making stupid decisions.

The chaplain ends up wounded and goes home on leave.
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By A Customer on August 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In March 1916 in the icy mud that separated the trenches, several British soldiers raided the nearby German forces; two failed to return with one dead, but the other Tucky Nann apparently is alive. Protestant chaplain Captain Joseph Reavley finds the badly injured Tucky and moves him to bring him safely to his side. However, before he can make it, a shell exploded nearby sending Joseph into severe pain and immediately thereafter unconsciousness.

He awakens with a horrendous headache and other pain as Surgeon Cavan explains he has a broken arm, a badly injured leg and lost plenty of blood. He is sent to his Cambridgeshire hometown for surgery and recuperation. However, rest is not what Joseph will find as he soon becomes embroiled in trying to stop the diabolically clever plot of the Peacemaker to forge an Anglo-German Empire that would dominate the world for centuries.

ANGELS IN THE GLOOM is a fabulous historical thriller that is at its best on the not so quiet Western Front as readers taste the horrific conditions that the soldiers faced during the trench warfare. When the tale returns to idyllic Cambridgeshire and the London nightlife, it remains quite intriguing with the comparison between those at home enjoying nightclubs and those at the front or like dedicated Joseph recovering from war injuries. As the story line twists into a murder mystery with a conspiratorial twist, the plot remains exciting and action-packed but loses some of its grittiness. Still Anne Perry provides a fine World War I tale with her latest Reavley caper.

Harriet Klausner
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