With this latest entry in a bestselling series that evokes all the passion and heroism of history's most heartbreaking conflict-the war that was meant to end all wars-Anne Perry adds new luster to her worldwide reputation. Angels in the Gloom is an intense saga of love, hate, obsession, and murder that features an honorable English family-brothers Joseph and Matthew Reavley and their sisters, Judith and Hannah. In March 1916, Joseph, a chaplain at the front, and Judith, an ambulance driver, are fighting not only the Germans but the bitter cold and the appalling casualties at Ypres. Scarcely less at risk, Matthew, an officer in England's Secret Intelligence Service, fights the war covertly from London. Only Hannah, living with her children in the family home in tranquil Cambridgeshire, seems safe. Appearances, however, are deceiving. By the time Joseph returns home to Cambridgeshire, rumors of spies and traitors are rampant. And when the savagely brutalized body of a weapons scientist is discovered in a village byway, the fear that haunts the battlefields settles over the town-along with the shadow of the obsessed ideologue who murdered the Reavleys' parents on the eve of the war.
With trips to the trenches and to London's nightclub, Perry continues the World War I saga begun with No Graves as Yet and Shoulder the Sky. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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August 31, 2005
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Excerpt from Angels in the Gloom by Anne Perry
Joseph lay on his face in the ice-filmed mud. Earlier in the night a score of men had gone over the top in a raid on the German trenches. They had taken a couple of prisoners, but been hit by a hail of fire on the way back. They had scrambled over the parapet wounded, bleeding, and without Doughy Ward and Tucky Nunn.
ýOi think Doughyýs bought it,ý Barshey Gee had said miserably, his face hollow-eyed in the brief glare of a star shell. ýBut Tucky was still aloive.ý
There was no choice. Under a barrage from their own guns, three of them went to look for him. The noise of the heavy mortars was deafening, but when they eased, Joseph could hear the quick, sharper rattle of machine guns. As the flare died, he lifted his head to look again across the craters, the torn wire, and the few shattered tree stumps still left.
Something moved in the mud. Joseph crawled forward again as quickly as he could. The thin ice cracked under his weight but he could hear nothing over the guns. He must get to Tucky without sliding into any of the huge, water-filled holes. Men had drowned in them before now. He shuddered at the thought. At least they had not been gassed this week, so there were no deadly, choking fumes in the hollows.
Another flare went up and he lay still, then as it faded he moved forward as rapidly as he could, feeling his way to avoid the remnants of spent shells, the tangles of old wire and rusted weapons, the rotting bodies. As always, he had emergency first aid supplies with him, but he might need more than that. If he could carry Tucky back to the trench, there would be real medics there by now.
It was dark again. He stood up and, crouching low, ran forward. It was only a few yards to where he had seen the movement. He slithered and almost fell over him.
ýHello, Chaplain,ý Tuckyýs voice came out of the darkness, hoarse, ending in a cough.
ýItýs all right, Iýve got you.ý Joseph reached forward, grasped the rough khaki, and felt the weight of Tuckyýs body. ýWhere are you hurt?ý