It's an interesting comment on our own turbulent and often ugly era that this page-turning, literate thriller, set in the grey aftermath of World War Two, reads as the best kind of escapist literature. A newly minted Oxford don struggling to re-invent a normal life for himself, Duncan Forrester is a young ex-Intelligence officer with a touch of PTSD, so immediately thoughtful, endearing, and sympathetic a lead that his subsequent, occasionally aggressive efforts to clear a friend of a murder charge provides constant surprises: over the course of his most unwanted adventure, Duncan's days can veer from tutoring a former comrade in the classics to dodging assassins in London, Berlin, and Scandinavia.
The complex 1946 environment in which Duncan operates includes cameos with several non-fictional future luminaries, among them detail-obsessed academic colleague J. R. R. Tolkien, fretting over his first "Lord of the Rings" manuscript, a helpful and highly festive Ian Fleming, and future theatrical luminary Kenneth Tynan, whose creative skills assist Duncan in ultimately re-creating the scene of the crime. Though intended as entertainment in the spirit of Agatha Christie, "The Age of Treachery" also pays more than passing attention to the toxic effects of ambition and extremist politics, both from lingering Nazism and the dawning of the Cold War.
Best of all, the quietly romantic Duncan ultimately meets the right woman, who shares his passion for a more honorable vision of history.
I can't recommend this book enough, but take comfort in the rumor that a sequel is in the works.