An Incomplete Revenge
Wandering gypsies and East Enders from London converge in 1931 for the traditional September hops-picking by migrant workers, in the village of Heronsdene in Kent. London-bred Billy Beale, undercover agent for private investigator Maisie Dobbs, joins the workers to scope out the truth about a mysterious series of fires centered on a local estate. When the debt-laden landowner accuses two London boys of burglary, their friends blame the gypsies. The village of Heronsdene, mistrusting both outsider groups, becomes a character itself, haunted by the secret of a tragic wartime fire after a Zeppelin bombing. No one, not the vicar, not the pub owner, not the blacksmith, will talk about the tragedy.
Maisie drives down from London to stay in the village, seeking the truth with the help of her psychological training and flashes of uncanny intuition. Along the way she confronts her own secret Romany heritage and works at healing the emotional scars of her wartime nursing experience. In this book Winspear once again demonstrates high standards of style and historical detail, with a subtle twist on the English village mystery genre. Fifth in series.