Cover Image: A Darker Reality

A Darker Reality

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Member Reviews

This is a great book covering the times just before WWII in America. The times are very accurate and realism, and the popular beliefs in America are very true. The well off people seem to support Hitler's ideas, and the idea is to remain on the sides, and still up of the war. Elena Standish comes from England to attend a 60 anniversary for her grandparents. A terrible murders of a beauty woman ends with Elena's grandfather accused the murder. The balances has Elena determines the true killer. The style of writing provides depth on the descriptions without interfering with the flow of writing. Three generations of the families combined with England and America provides a engrossing and education telling the story. The beliefs of the well-to-enough reflected is very close to the opinions may have similar to today. The book is entertaining, educating, and thoughtful.
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This book is well written and very atmospheric of the era prior to WWII. I enjoyed the characters and Elena’s developing story. There were some surprises throughout and I was kept engaged.  Historical fiction fans will definitely enjoy.  
Many thanks to Random House Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I really like the Elena Standish Series by Anne Perry.

As Hitler is building up for World War II, Elena and her parents are finally making a trip to visit her mom’s family in Washington, DC.  Elena’s grandfather is a prominent industrialist who has many political friends, including President and Eleanor Roosevelt. During her grandparent’s anniversary party, a guest, Lila Worth, is run over on the driveway.  There are no witnesses despite the fact that many secret service agents are on site because of the Roosevelt’s attendance.

Elena is contacted by MI6, her employer, that Lila was a British spy and Lila had hinted that she had something to tell Elena.  With the help of another agent, Elena attempts to find out the information that Lila had.  In addition, the car that hit Lila was Elena’s grandfather’s and he is arrested.  He claims that he was framed by his enemies but Elena discovers business and investment secrets that could be damning.

#ADarkerReality #NetGalley
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I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

I have read and enjoyed many of Anne Perry's novels. This is the second Elena Standish book for me.

The story provides a realistic picture of the different views that many Americans held in the years between WWI and WWII. Elena, an undercover agent for Britain's MI6, and her parents are visiting Washington, D.C. to attend her grandparents' anniversary party. Having recently witnessed the cruelties and the anti-Semitism of the Nazis in Germany, she is shocked to learn that many of the high-ranking people in attendance share those same opinions.

Elena is an avid photographer and is busy taking pictures of the celebrities. One of the guests is murdered! Elena must use all of her skills to find the murderer. There are many twists and turns before the culprit is discovered.
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A personal trip turns perilous for Elena Standish after the murder of a British spy forces her to face dark family secrets in this exciting 1930s mystery by bestselling author Anne Perry. On her first trip to Washington, D.C., Elena Standish finally gets to visit her American mother’s wealthy parents and their magnificent home. 

It was interesting to see how Ms. Perry dropped the Standish family into the United States for the most recent installment in the series.  I found it very interesting.  I am not sure we always give a lot of thought to what happened before the United States was drawn into the War and who was on what side at that time.  This book did deal with that issue somewhat.

The Elena Standish series is my least favorite of all the Ann Perry books.  I realize that she was probably tired of writing some of the others but Thomas and Charlotte will always be my favorite.  Maybe Elena will grow on me as time goes by.  This one did have some twists and turns that were quite interesting. I admit that I did not figure it out and was surprised at the ending. Very readable and surprising.

I would like to think the author, the publisher and Netgalley for my copy of the book.  The comments are my own.
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The Elena Standish series keeps getting better and better, with this third installment.  It is 1934, and Elena is visiting her American grandparents with her parents.  Tensions are high as talk of isolationism includes anti-Semitism and support for Nazis amongst some of Elena’s grandparents’ friends.  When a murder occurs at her grandparents sixtieth anniversary party, the question is whether it was personal or political?  Elena becomes enmeshed with the investigation as her grandfather is arrested for the crime.  I highly recommend this series, especially for its relevance to today’s political atmosphere, no thank NetGalley for the ARC.
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Anne Perry never fails to provide a good story.  I like her newest character, Elena. She’s smart young and brave, but also vulnerable.  I highly recommend this book.
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"A Darker Reality" was a good addition to the Elena Standish series.  This book sees Elena traveling with her parents to Washington DC to celebrate the sixtieth wedding anniversary of her grandparents, Wyatt and Dorothy Baylor.  Elena met the Baylors a few times as a young child, but does not really know them; her mother has not been home for many years.  The party is somewhat unsettling for Elena, as she hears a number of the guests make statements that support isolationism (not particularly surprising considering memories of the Great War), but also make statements supportive of Hitler and some of his ideas. She finds the prejudicial/racist opinions abhorrent on their face, but her experience in Berlin has also given her insight into Hitler and the Nazis that many of the guests lack.  A significant aspect of the plot is how one deals with learning that someone they care about may hold abhorrent views.  Making the situation worse, during the party, one of the guests (Lila Worth) is brutally murdered and Elena's grandfather, Wyatt, is arrested for the murder, as the woman was run over by his car and because he is the only one without a solid alibi for the time the murder was believed to have occurred.

The story focuses on the efforts to prove Wyatt's innocence and find the real killer of Lila Worth.  Was Lila the intended victim?  If so, why? As Elena quickly discovers, there was much more to Lila than her public persona suggested.  Was the intention to have Wyatt blamed for the murder and if so why?  Wyatt is wealthy and well-connected politically, including serving as an advisor to President Roosevelt; President and First Lady Roosevelt were guests at the party.  Who are his enemies? Is it connected to the Free America group of which Wyatt and a number of the guests seem to be members?  You will have to read the story to find out.

I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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Third in the Elena Standish Series, A Darker Reality, opens in the spring of 1934, as Elena, an M16 agent, has made the long journey from London to Washington D.C to celebrate the sixtieth wedding anniversary of her maternal grandparents Wyatt and Dorothy Baylor; a couple known to be of great wealth with political and influential connections. As a photographer, Elena is interested in capturing elegant guests such as scientist, Harmon Worth and Austrian wife, Lila, President Franklin Roosevelt, and Eleanor- and others of “high society, politicians, the rich and ambitious.” Anne Perry’s lush description of the magnificent home and luxurious setting helps settle readers into a comfortable niche to observe and listen in on Elena’s conversations with the well connected, distinguished guests that lead her to question her grandparents’ political beliefs.  Elena’s background and involvement in M16, the British secret service, as well as extensive descriptions of the radical, political leanings of the Baylor’s and their guests are seamlessly woven into dialogue. These details become immensely important as a chauffeur interrupts the lavish party to announce Lila Worth has been run over in the driveway! Chaos and mystery ensue; police are summoned, guests questioned. Anne Perry leads readers on a steady march; keenly analyzing suspects, subjecting readers to palm sweating confrontations with Agent Elena in disguise, and deep, emotional delving into grief. Through quiet conversations characters’ conscious and innermost feelings develop as Perry explores the close relationship of Elena and Grandfather Lucas, former head of M16, and casts suspicion on fellow agent James Allenby. Political intrigue or a domestic issue? Elena and Allenby concur; the killer is among the guests!  A “tangled web of distrust” leads readers through this maze to an appalling and ghastly conclusion. What’s next for Elena Standish?
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It's spring, 1934. Plucky young MI6 operative, Elena Standish is finally on a much deserved holiday to America. She and her American mother and British ambassador father, arrived in New York city's port and after a few days have continued on to Washington, D.C. to visit with family. Elena's maternal grandparents are celebrating their sixtieth anniversary with a wonderful fête at their home where scions of industry and government staff are in attendance. Being the gifted photographer she is, Elena circulates the room capturing the moment in shots of elegant women, high-powered men and people celebrating the couple's good fortune. All goes well until one guest is killed and one of Elena's family is held on suspicion of murder. Surely, it can't be true. Elena is incensed and commits to unearthing the details and finding who the true culprit is.

This third book in the Elena Standish mystery series is well written and deftly explores the mixed sentiments of folks concerning political developments in Europe. Some see tensions between rising Bolshevism and conservative nationalism. Others merely wish to avoid another war at all costs. And there are some who look at the developments as wonderful opportunities to make a fortune. Elena has insight into the rising specter of Germany but is unable to share such knowledge owing to the covert nature of her experience. 

The scene settings with all their fashionable elegance are lushly described. One can easily imagine the fluid movement of gowns of silk taffeta and organza, the crisp and elegant black tie tuxedos of the men in attendance and the sparkle of the ladies' jewels glistening beneath the room's elegant chandelier. The character development is good, especially that of Elena as she has gradually over the course of three books recaptured the acceptance and respect of those around her. The family dynamics and differences of sensibilities drawn on nationalistic lines are touched upon in a thought-provoking manner. There are a number of surprising twists in the story. The tension gradually increases in the last quarter of the book and gently releases as it draws to a satisfying close. 

This is an interesting series and well worth the venture for the historical fiction fan who enjoys a touch of added mystery.

I am grateful to Ballantine Books for having provided a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Their generosity, however, has not influenced this review - the words of which are mine alone.
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I read A Question of Betrayal last year and I thought that was book 1 in Anny Perry's Elena Standish series since it was about Elena's first MI6 mission. So when I say book 3 A Darker Reality I thought I had missed a book somehow. I have missed a book but it is book 1 Death in Focus as I have read book 2. I say all this because it is okay if you start the series with book 3. It is still early enough in the series that plenty of backstory is provided to fill in any gaps in knowledge the reader has due to not reading the previous novels.

As someone who reads a lot of WWII fiction, I like this series because it is set just before the war but deals with events that lead to the war. It is also different than the other WWII fiction I've read about the intelligence community. While many of them me on the edge of my seat, I found A Darker Reality to be a lighter read, more in line with being a cozy mystery than a historical novel. That doesn't make this any less interesting as a mystery.

I liked that we see Elena's American family side in this novel. I watched Atlantic Crossing this summer and while I knew that the U.S. didn't want to get pulled into another European war, there was a lot I didn't know about the whys and what for's. The historical elements of A Darker Reality fleshed out that knowledge a bit more for me. I particularly found the details about the Free America movement enlightening. 

As with any spy novel, there are plenty of twists and turns and Elena walks a fine line between wanting to prove her grandfather's innocence and the political ramifications of her investigation. 

This is a good series for fans of 1930s mysteries and spy novels. The characters are interesting and there is plenty of political intrigue to balance on the often precarious personal relationships.

My review will be published at Girl Who Reads on Wednesday, Oct. 27 -
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Anne Perry is great at giving us an enjoyable glimpse into history whether it’s 1880s Victorian England, WWI or now the years leading up to WWII with the Elena Standish series. As a fan of Historical Fiction and especially of Fictional Historical Mystery Perry is adept at setting compelling  intrigue and giving us a glimpse into the times she writes about. 

I read the first two books in the series and hoped there would be another, now I wait for the next and more. I found the book  illuminating and compelling. The ending caught me somewhat off guard and I wonder how what happened will  inform the next book, because surely there will be a next.
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Anne Perry takes us into A Darker Reality in an espionage tale in 1930's Washington. Elena Standish, photographer and M16 undercover agent, is visiting her American millionaire grandfather at his 60th wedding anniversary.  Lila, a guest, is murdered and her grandfather is arrested.  Her father is in the British diplomatic corps, her grandfather, the former head of M16.  She works with a fellow agent to find out whodunit and clear her grandfather.  The Nazis are supported by her grandfather's friends.  She is also trying to find an intelligence leak to the Germans with regard to atomic weapon research. What could go wrong? Conflicting loyalties. Growing fears of war to come. Great mystery and spy novel.
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Another absorbing mystery by one of best in the genre...Anne Perry. This is the 3rd in the Elena Standish series. Set in the 1930s leading up to WWII Ms Perry gives us an excellent tale of murder and spys! Elena and her parents are on a trip to Washington DC to visit her mother's parents when a woman is run down in the driveway. The woman killed is a British spy and after her grandfather is arrested Elena fights to clear his name. With intellegent, well drawn characters this is is a must for readers of WWII fiction.
Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I have voluntarily read and reviewed a copy of this title given to me via NetGalley. Wow what can I say about this title it was just an awesome read. This book was just something so wonderfully different I’ve never quite read anything like this. You should read to find out you won’t be disappointed. I’m definitely going to read more by this author.
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This is the third book in the Elena Standish series. I have read the first two and now this one. Anne Perry does a very good job with the historical aspects of the story and keeping it accurate. I would recommend reading them in order so one knows what going on. It is well written, enjoyable, and hard to out down.
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This is book 3 in a series, however, you will not be lost if you read it as a stand alone.  This is a good (not great) series.

Elena and her British parents travel to the US to visit her mother's parents.  Once in the US things begin to heat up and the spy business begin.  

Many thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballentine for this advanced readers copy.  This book released September 2021.
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This is the third Elena Standish novel.  In each novel Elena is faced with new circumstances that are dangerous and that broaden her in her new life as a spy.  I have enjoyed the past books very much but this one was a little different.  It seemed a little slower than the others with what was actually known and what wasn’t, questioned over and over again.  The actual story line was good at the beginning and the end with the middle somewhat dragging.  I did enjoy this book and it did end well with some things open for the next novel.  I enjoyed getting to know the new character James Allenby.  I also enjoyed getting to know her father, Charles, better in this novel.  And of course, I love that her grandfather, Lucas, was in this story again.  He and his wife Josephine and Toby are my favorite!
I received this book as an Net Galley arc to read in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I was excited to receive a copy of the next installment in the Elena Standish series.  Perry has given us another story with many twists and turns and makes the reader feel the rising tensions in volatile world climate.

I still find Elena naive and sometimes lacks common sense and good judgement, but she is growing. I very much enjoy this time period and look forward to the next mission for our young agent.
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Since this is the third in the series, I went back and read the other two. The protagonist is an interesting young woman who, because of a past indiscretion, is constantly underestimated by men. Despite that, she is working as a spy for MI6 and gets into many interesting situations. This third book has her in America.  
The most interesting thing about this book is that it is set between WWI and WWII. It gives a lot of information about the feelings of the people in both England and America regarding the rise of Hitler and the nationalistic movement. Sadly, there are a lot of parallels to the current era regarding issues of immigration as well as isolationism, anti-semitism and others. 
I found the book well written and very engaging. I look forward to more books in the series.
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