BOOK REVIEW: AN INCOMPLETE REVENGE
An Incomplete Revenge takes place in the area around London right after World War I. The story involves Londoners and Gypsies that travel to the farming areas and pick hops during the harvesting season. They are not welcomed to the area but they are a necessary part of hop picking and generally they stay to themselves, but sometimes get in trouble, especially the younger ones.
Masie Dobbs is a Psychologist and Investigator who is very good at her job. Masie is hired by James Compton to investigate a large estate and a brickyard that he in interested in purchasing. The area is called Heronsdene and reports are telling him that there are some strange things going on in that area including burglary and fires, some of which appears to be minor mischief. Compton did not want to purchase something where troubles would run wild and make it an irresponsible purchase.
Masie goes to the area and senses herself that Heronsdene is indeed a source of trouble. She could feel it just by walking the streets and talking to the shop owners and citizens in the town. Masie goes out into the woods nearby and finds the Gypsies and the Londoners, both picking the hops but as far a part from each other as possible. They donít like each other any more than the people of Heronsdene like either group. Masie enters each group and makes as much of an inroad as possible while attempting to find out what action they perform that might be causing the mischief in the city. She makes friends, or as friendly as the groups would allow. After time, they started to take Masie into their confidence much more than any other persons around.
It seems there had been a German Zeppelin raid during the war that had bombed a house in the area. No one would talk about that raid or the circumstances caused by it. Masie had to dig wide and far to get a little bit here and a little bit there. No one trusted the Sandermere family that owned the large estate. They had money, got drunk, got into trouble with women, and got away with things no one should be allowed to, causing distrust and distaste in the entire area.
Masie made connections with various residents in the area as she gathered her information for James Compton. She also was in touch with a reporter, Beattie Drummond, who was trying to get a great story so she could make progress up the staff of a major newspaper. Beattie and Masie exchanged information, helping each other a lot.
The story is slow moving at times which I have found some English authors tend to do but the descriptions of the areas and people from that area are great. Jacqueline Winspear has grabbed the atmosphere of the time and area and placed it in words that do not leave the reader wanting. She also gives an insight into life among the Gypsies and the lower class Londoners that have to travel around to make a living doing hard work for small pay.
REVIEWED BY CY HILTERMAN
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