His Majesty’s Hope

Written by Susan Elia MacNeal
Review by Vicki Kondelik

In 1941, Maggie Hope, a mathematician and code breaker working for an elite British spy organization, parachutes into Nazi Germany. She poses as the mistress of a German officer who is secretly a member of a resistance movement. Her mission is to deliver radio crystals to the resistance and to plant a listening device in the office of a high-ranking Nazi, Clara Hess. On her way to plant the device, Maggie meets Clara’s daughter, Elise, a nurse in a Berlin hospital. Elise has made a horrifying discovery: blind, deaf, and mentally ill children are being gassed at secret facilities. Working with the resistance, Elise tries to save the children and to inform the German people about the mass murders. Elise clears a space in her mother’s attic to hide the children, and she also hides a Jewish doctor and a wounded British pilot, who turns out to be Maggie’s almost-fiancé, John. As soon as Maggie discovers the truth of the euthanasia program, she helps Elise in her work, and is reunited with John. But will Elise be able to get them out of Germany without her mother’s discovering them?

Maggie is a wonderful character: brilliant and courageous, but also vulnerable as she struggles to come to terms with the horrors of war and the secrets of her own past. This novel is darker than the previous volume in the series, as it deals with the mass murder of children. The author’s depiction of wartime Berlin is vivid and horrifying. There are a few anachronisms, such as a mention of DNA, which was not discovered until after World War II, but they didn’t bother me. The book left me wanting to know what will happen to Maggie in her next adventure.