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No Human Enemy    by John Gardner order for
No Human Enemy
by John Gardner
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2008 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

You say you enjoy historical thrillers that are full of intrigue, murder, and mystery? You say you enjoy novels in which lively characters strive to survive in the midst of the horrors of war? You say you enjoy reading work from an author who has consistently distinguished himself by virtue of the quality and quantity of his output? Well, here is the next title for your reading list: No Human Enemy.

When the compelling action begins in this recommended World War II mystery, young policewoman Suzie Mountford and her colleague (and secret romantic interest) Tommy Livermore are dispatched from a besieged London to a nearby convent where there were three fatalities. Germany's dreaded V-1 flying bombs (a.k.a. doodlebugs) have been wreaking havoc throughout England, but when one of these reprehensibly indiscriminate weapons hits the convent, the mystery that soon develops involves much more than the innocent casualties of the horrors of war.

One of the dead novice nuns at the convent turns out to be someone quite different than everyone had first surmised: the person is, in fact, a man, dressed as a novitiate, and he has not died because of the doodlebug, but instead he had his throat cut - from ear-to-ear - and no one seems to have any clue as to what really happened.

As the entangled threads of the complex mystery are unraveled, No Human Enemy becomes a fascinating tale of family tensions, German ingenuity, secret military plots, British resilience, and powerful passions.

And who has so adroitly managed the novel's intricate plot? It is none other than John Gardner, the tireless and immensely readable author of 50 novels (including 14 James Bond novels that continued the Ian Fleming tradition), 2 collections of short stories, and 1 autobiography. No Human Enemy is the 5th winner in a projected 6-book series featuring Suzie Mountford, and readers ought to hurry to their bookstores or libraries and read every single one of Gardner's superbly intriguing mysteries. The Mountford tales are good old-fashioned British storytelling at its very best. Enjoy!

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