No Graves As Yet

Written by Anne Perry
Review by Ilysa Magnus

The prolific Perry does it again – here, with the first instalment of an anticipated five book series focusing on a British family in 1914 dealing with the emotions and realities of the coming war and that family’s tribulations through 1918.

The four Reavley children suffer a terrible tragedy when their parents, John and Alys, are killed in a car crash. Immediately before his death, John Reavley reveals to his son, Matthew, a captain in the intelligence service, that he is in possession of a letter—the contents of which, if disclosed, will have devastating effects upon the world in general and Britain in particular. The Reavley sons, a professor at Cambridge and an ordained minister, determine early on that their parents’ murder is directly linked to that letter. What the letter contains and how it resulted in their parents’ death is the driving force behind their investigation.

Along the way, Perry takes us on an evocative journey through an England recently reeling from the brutality of the Boer War and facing the horror of an imminent worldwide conflagration. As usual, Perry’s characters are fully fleshed out, and the reader becomes attached to them. The growing fear that war cannot be avoided is palpable, and how each character deals with his or her own particular reality is the stuff at which Perry excels.