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by Anne Perry
Ballantine Books, April 2007
304 pages
ISBN: 0345456602

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

World War I has been going on for four years but finally peace seems at hand. America is trying to facilitate an armistice between the battling countries. There are some doubts that this 'settlement' is ideal or fair, but many people simply want the death and destruction stopped.

The Reavley family is one that wants the war to end. Joseph and his sister Judith are tired of the mud, the dirt, the blood and the hopelessness of the front lines. Their brother Matthew, a Secret Intelligence Service officer, wants the war to end as well. However all three of them also want the Peacemaker to be caught. The Peacemaker's activities are what caused them to join the army and stopping him will make their sacrifices worthwhile.

To this end, Matthew is finally given the information he needs to reveal the Peacemaker's identity. The Peacemaker's German counterpart is willing to go to London and reveal everything. He will cross over in England near Yves, the western front, which is where Joseph and Judith are stationed. Shortly after Matthew arrives at the front, the German officer crosses over. He is injured and most be treated before beginning the trip to London.

Unfortunately before the two men can meet, a nurse, Sarah Price is discovered savagely raped and murdered. The officers called into investigate follow the evidence through numerous tangents and detain several suspects including the German officer. The Reavleys must find the nurse's killer before they can stop the Peacemaker. In order to do this, all three siblings must confront their own fears and sacrifices. Only by accepting the changes in the world, will they gather the evidence they need.

WE SHALL NOT SLEEP is the fifth book in Anne Perry's World War I mystery series. This book resolves most of the loose ends left open in the previous books as well as implying what the future holds for the Reavley family. In order to appreciate this sense of closure, it is important to have read the rest of the series before reading this book.

I have followed this series from the beginning. I liked seeing how WE SHALL NOT SLEEP resolves the outstanding plot lines, yet the conclusion seemed anti-climactic. After all of the violence, hopelessness and despair that the characters faced in their pursuit of justice and in the war, I would have imagined the Peacemaker's unveiling to be more suspenseful and meaningful for the characters. As the Reavleys spent the entire series searching for this man and this man killed their parents, I expected the emergence of his identity to be more momentous than it was. Excluding this sense of let-down, WE SHALL NOT SLEEP was enjoyable.

Reviewed by Sarah Dudley, May 2007

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