The Devil Take Tomorrow
Ethan Matlock, the dashing, dangerous hero of Gretchen Jeannette’s The Devil Take Tomorrow, is spy for the rebelling American colonies, navigating the demimonde of British-occupied Philadelphia, when he learns of a plot involving British agents masquerading as colonial soldiers. These agents intend to kidnap General George Washington, and as Ethan soon learns, their plans are maturing rapidly – he must act soon or the Revolution will lose its much-vaunted “indispensable man.”
Even so, a spy’s life is dictated by the need for discretion, and that discretion is put at risk by the volatile and fiery-tempered rebel sympathizer Maddie Graves.
In tense drawing rooms all over town and in action sequences on land and at sea, Jeannette moves her plot along at a rapid-fire pace. Although the romantic badinage between Ethan and Maddie may strike some readers as a bit forced, the novel ends up feeling far more textured and authentic than a by-the-numbers romance – especially convincing is the real sense that is conveyed of how fragile the rebellion is at this point, how much of it hinges on the actions of just a few men and women on either side.