by Celeste Bradley

February 2004
ISBN: 0-312-98784-6
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

The Liar’s Club is in trouble. Security has been breached, causing the death of several operatives, and the injury of several more. Two men lie near death. James Cunnington, recovered from wounds received while a captive, now has to recuperate from stopping an assassin’s bullet - meant for the Prime Minister. To add even more worry to his mind, he has acquired a young son, adopted from the streets of London, and the club’s best cryptographer has vanished, possibly into the arms of Napoleon’s supporters.

James is guilt-ridden over his own innocent part in the group’s betrayal, and is working even harder trying to make amends. When word reaches him that Atwater, their code-breaker, has started to work for the enemy, James is astounded. He is determined to prove the rumors, or find out what exactly has happened. Since Atwater has disappeared, James is looking for his daughter, Phillipa, in hopes that she can give him some indication about her father’s whereabouts.

Phillipa has her own problems. Her father was captured in Spain and pressed into service for Napoleon. She must find out which members of the English spy ring can be trusted, so that they can help her free her father. Only his journal, and the cryptic phrase “watch out for Cunnington” give her any clue. Unfortunately, it may mean that he is a traitor.

This rousing setting brings readers right into the midst of The Spy. Watching James and Phillipa encircle and encounter each other is great reading. Even the use of a common plot device is made fresh by the fine characterization written by Ms. Bradley. Readers will enjoy young Robbie, worldly wise and aching for love, along with a cast of familiar characters - Kurt, Button, Collis Tremayne and the rest of the Liars. One word of caution - this really is part of a larger story and benefits from the background presented in the first two books. This is no hardship however, since they are both well-written and highly entertaining. Just run out and pick them up - if they aren’t already on your keeper shelf!

Reviewed in February 2004 by Paula.

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