Book Review: The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent by Susan Elia Macneal

When your protagonist is a badass spy who manages to make her way through high society Berlin during the war and brings back one of the most notorious German spies, you tend to expect so much more from her next adventure. And that’s why this book failed the expectations game, at least for me.

Maggie has returned to Scotland as an SOE instructor and is seemingly suffering from PTSD after having killed a man in self-defense. She is hard on her trainees but it’s understandable because she just wants them to be tougher. When she travels to Edinburgh to watch Susan’s play, she finds that two women are killed and Susan is critical. Her investigation into this and the catching of the culprit takes just a few chapters and it was so quick, I thought how was this even possible. Wasn’t this the plot of the book, at least according to the blurb. Most of the remaining book deals with the circumstances preceding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. There was also another plot line of Clara Hess imprisoned in the Tower of London, her regression and some insight into her past.

I read these books because I like Maggie. That’s one reason I was disappointed here – there was so much less of her. The murders were hardly a mystery and I felt they were not up to Maggie’s standards. The mystery should at least be complicated enough for her to deploy her skills. The plot dealing with the Pearl Harbor attack is fiction of course, but it did make for an interesting perspective of how the imminent attack was planned and the intelligence failures that prevented from anticipating it. I was a bit confused about the whole Clara story and it didn’t make me feel any sympathetic towards her. On the whole, this book wasn’t bad, just not enough.

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️

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