Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review of Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper, 2016)

Early 1938 and Maisie Dobbs has returned to England from Spain, where she’d been working as a nurse in the civil war, trying to come to terms with the death of her husband.  Still unsure what she’s going to do with herself she’s approached by old acquaintances in the Secret Service.  A rich British industrialist has been imprisoned in Dachau and the Nazis have agreed to release him into the custody of his daughter.  Only his daughter is seriously ill and they want Maisie to pose as her instead.  In addition, another wealthy industrialist wants Maisie to find his wayward daughter, who has abandoned her husband and young child to go partying in Munich – a woman Maisie holds responsible for her husband’s death.  Maisie is soon tangling with the SS as she tries to free the imprisoned boffin and persuade the wayward daughter to return home.

Journey to Munich is the twelfth book in the Maisie Dobbs series.  In this outing she travels to Munich to try and free a British industrialist from Dachau and the clutches of the Nazis and to accompany him back to Britain, while also trying to persuade a young woman to stop partying with SS men and to return home to England.  The first of those plotlines on its own would have been fine.  The second one is purely to continue a thread from previous books and add a bit of melodrama and was all too coincidental.  Nonetheless, the plot works okay up until the major twist, which also derails the logic of the tale and it then limps weakly to the end.  There are just too many elements that made little sense, too many weak plot devices, and too many stereotypical characters.  As a result, while Maisie is an interesting character who lives an eventful life, for me this sojourn failed to live up to its promising premise.

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

She writes her books too quickly. The first few were so much better.