Saturday, October 24, 2009
Montmorency on the Rocks
by Eleanor Updale.
#2 in the series.
I am, quite frankly, not as enamoured of this one as I was of the first book.
It starts several years later, during which time we are told Montmorency and his friend Lord George Fox-Selwyn have had quite a career as international spies for the British government. As the book opens, Montmorency has become addicted to an unnamed drug while in Turkey, and George takes him north to his brother's estate in Scotland to cure him with the help of Dr. Farcett, who had healed his wounds in prison. Events soon lead them to a small island off of Scotland, Tarimond, which will come to feature prominently in this book and later ones.
On Tarimond, Dr. Farcett begins to look into why every baby there has died for the past 8 years, while in London, the investigation into a covered-up explosion requires the investigative services of the spies Montmorency and Lord George. The three make their way back to the city, only to find an old friend of Montmorency's ahs the information they need, and they bring her into their life, increasing their circle at the same time that they uncover the bomber - but not before he strikes again.
Once again, we have tales of intrigue and suspense, and the theme of dressing as another person or class helps them find out what they need by blending with a different group of people. I felt, though, that this book is trying to do a lot more than the first book did, and loses some of the wonderful straight-forward drive and plot that made that so good. Instead, the twists and turns feel less directed on one hand, and more contrived on the other, as they clearly set up things and characters for book #3.
In sum, I didn't not like it, but felt it didn't quite live up to the standard of its predecessor, which I loved.