Review: The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent (Maggie Hope Mystery #4) by Susan Elia MacNeal

Maggie Hope has been under the spell of the ‘black dog’ for what seems like an eternity.

Her depression and post traumatic stress are taking over her life.

She can hardly remember what life was like before she became a spy and had her life turned upside down.

She’s been throwing herself into her work as a trainer at an elite spy institute in Scotland, trying to escape the ‘black dog’.

Maggie has nothing to distract her but her work. John Sterling and her are not on speaking terms, her mother faces death at the Tower of London, and as a spy she doesn’t have ‘friends’ that she can talk to either.

Depressed and alone, Maggie knows she needs to start moving on and getting it together but she just isn’t sure how.

Everything around her is depressing and hopeless…..England faces eminent invasion from the Nazi’s, not to mention the night skies are being lite up by bombs constantly, and the United States is doing nothing to help the British defend themselves.

After discovering a dead sheep off the Scottish coast, Maggie takes it to a vet. The sheep is covered in black sores and she though maybe it was from a disease. But the vet doesn’t seem to concerned about the mysterious sheep death.

While talking to the vet, Maggie notices a cat that the vet would be only too pleased to be rid of. In the midst of all the darkness, Maggie finds companionship and unconditional love from a feline friend.

After adopting a cat from the vet, she returns to her apartment to find an invitation from an old friend, Sarah, to see her perform in a ballet in Edinburgh.

Though she doesn’t want to go to Edinburgh, her superior officer orders her to go out and try to have a good time. While at the Edinburgh ballet, one of the dancers collapses and dies. Her body is also covered in large black sores…..could it be poison?

Maggie finds hope and solace in having a mystery to solve. She throws herself into her work and soon, she finds the ‘black dog’ is being held at bay.

I was thrilled to see that Maggie was coming out of her depression in this book. In the previous book, she was really in a bad way. While that was an interesting and necessary change in her character, it was hard as a reader who loves her, to see her go through so much pain.

I thought the evolution of her character in this book was well done. I liked that she didn’t just wake up ‘cured’ or suddenly revert back to her old self. She was somewhat the ‘old Maggie’ but a more mature, worldly Maggie without the rose colored glasses we saw in the first book, if that makes sense.

The direction that the author is going with her character is exciting and realistic and I look forward to see how she continues to develop in future books.

The progression and plot in this book were the only things that made me give this one a 4.5 star instead of a 5 star rating. This book had two different plots going on, one in the US with the attack of Pearl Harbor that didn’t involve Maggie at all, and the other being in England with Maggie.

I realize the Pearl Harbor plot was necessary in this book not only to show the progression of the war but also to set up the next book, but I did hope that Maggie had played a role in it some how.

Also, the murder mystery was wrapped up way to quick for me. I wanted there to be more investigation and more ‘mystery’ with that plot line.

The book is called The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent….and I didn’t see how that title worked until much much much later in the book. I would have maybe picked something else as the title for this book and then named the next book The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent instead.

But overall I still thought the book collectively was well done. Lots of history and lots of foundation laying for future books and plots. I like the direction that Maggie and the other characters are moving and I am excited to see what’s in store next for my favorite red haired spy!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Book: The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent (Maggie Hope Mystery #4) by Susan Elia MacNeal

  • Paperback, 306 pages
    Published July 1st 2014 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2014)
    ISBN 0345536746 (ISBN13: 9780345536747)
  • Review copy provided by: Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5

Genre: Historic fiction, thriller, mystery, detective novels, spy novels

Memorable lines/quotes: NA

3 thoughts on “Review: The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent (Maggie Hope Mystery #4) by Susan Elia MacNeal

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