A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel
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Willoughby paled. “Oh, really?” He smiled but his voice rasped as if his throat were suddenly tight. “Don’t think there’s much of any interest to know, ol’ boy.”
Pitt’s mind raced to think of the best way to reply. He could not afford to make enemies, but neither would it be wise to belittle his importance, or allow people to assume that he was not the same master of information that Narraway had been.
He made himself smile back at Willoughby. “I would not say you are uninteresting, sir, but you are not of concern to us, which is an entirely different thing.”
Willoughby’s eyes widened. “ Really?” He looked mollified, almost pleased. “ Really?”
The other man looked amused. “Is that what you say to everyone?” he asked with the ghost of a smile.
“I like to be courteous.” Pitt looked him directly in the eye. “But I can’t deny that some people are less interesting than others.”
This time Willoughby was very definitely pleased and made no attempt to hide it. Satisfaction radiated from him as he took a glass of champagne from a passing footman.
Pitt moved on. He was more careful now of his manner, watching but speaking little, learning to copy the polite words that meant nothing. It was not an art that came to him easily. Charlotte would have understood the nuances within what was said, or unsaid. Pitt would have found direct openness much more comfortable. However, this form of socializing was part of his world from now on, even if he felt like an intruder, even if he knew that beneath the smiles, the smooth, self- assured men around him were perfectly aware of how he felt.
A few moments later he saw Charlotte again. He made his way toward her with a lift of spirits, even a pride he thought was perhaps a little silly after all these years, but nevertheless was quite real. There were other women in the room with more classic beauty, and certainly more sumptuous gowns, but for him they lacked warmth. They had less passion, less of that certain indefinable grace that comes from within.
Charlotte was talking to her sister, Emily Radley, who was wearing a pale blue- green silk gown with gold embroidery. Emily’s first marriage had been a match to make any mother proud. Lord George Ashworth had been the opposite of Pitt in every way: handsome, charming, of excellent family, and in possession of a great deal of money. After his death, it was held in trust for his and Emily’s son, Edward. A suitable time later, Emily had married Jack Radley. He was another handsome man, even more charming, but with no money at all. His father had been a younger son, and something of an adventurer.
It was Emily who had persuaded Jack to enter politics and aspire to make something of himself. Perhaps some of Emily’s hunger to affect other people’s lives had come from her observation of Charlotte and her involvement in several of Pitt’s earlier cases. To be fair, at times Emily had also helped Charlotte, with both flair and courage. The sisters had exasperated and embarrassed Pitt, driving him frantic with fear for their safety, but they had also very thoroughly earned his respect and gratitude.
Copyright © 2012 by Anne Perry
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Ballantine Books,
an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group,
a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
Beloved bestselling author Anne Perry’s new masterpiece, Dorchester Terrace, takes readers back to Victorian London where Charlotte and Thomas Pitt are drawn into an exclusive world of wealth and influence—and one of their most challenging investigations yet. As the story opens, Thomas, once a policeman on the beat, is now the powerful head of Britain’s Special Branch. Knowing there are some who doubt his abilities has left him feeling unsure of himself, but when rumors of a plot to blow up a Dover-London train carrying Austrian duke Alois Habsburg reach Thomas, his uncanny instinct tells him this is all a distraction from something far more insidious. All he has to do is find out what it is.
Could the answer be the complicated link between an old woman, once a revolutionary spy who's now sinking into dementia, and a beautiful but mysterious young Croatian woman who's married to a British man of immense power? Pitt suspects these two women from such divergent backgrounds could give him the information he desperately needs to know. As the hours tick by, Pitt and his wife, Charlotte, will face an electrifying moment of decision—and a wrenching moral dilemma.
Hardcover Book : 352 pages
Publisher: Ballantine/Delrey, Div., Random House ( April 03, 2012 )
Item #: 13-517589
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.813inches
Product Weight: 13.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I've read all of Perry's Thomas Pitt and William Monk books and this one is definitely one of my favorites. Other reviewers are correct that there is a good bit of history in this book but it was well done and necessary to the story. There were some very interesting twists and turns and a couple of surprises at the end as well.
I have read every Anne Perry book and although I enjoy her characters of both Monk and Pitt, at times I find her descriptive writing of Victorian England repetative.
I did enjoy this book, but you have had to have read her prior novels to get the gist of Narroway's dismissal and Pitt's relationship with the throne.
This book was very slow in the beginning. Too much political information. Just got bogged down in it. Later it picked up and I did enjoy it. The earlier books are so much better.