Friday, August 12, 2016

The Emperor's Agent (The Numinous World #5), by Jo Graham

Crossroads Press, July 2013

Elza Ringelinge, a.k.a. Ida St. Malme, is a Dutch woman living in Paris in 1805. She left her Dutch husband for French General Moreau, and left Moreau for Michel Ney, who eventually became Marshall Ney.

When we meet her, she is parted from Ney, working as an actress, and she receives a summons from Fouche, chief of the secret police. It's the start of an alarming sequence of events that leads to her becoming a secret agent for Napoleon Bonaparte, charged with locating the spy within the highest levels of the French army poised to invade England.

Elza embarks on an alarming, challenging, by turns frustrating and exhilarating adventure. Ney and others from her past figure prominently--as do abilities she has long denied even to herself that she possesses.

The risks she's running are incalculable, but so, for her, are the potential rewards.

This is the fifth book in a series, so there is significant backstory, but I found Graham dropped in the essential bits without distracting info-dumping, and I was able to enjoy this story on its own. She's paid attention to the necessary historical background, the characters are nicely developed. and the pace moves along. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and will look for the earlier installments.

Recommended.

I bought this book.