Death in Focus

Elena Standish, Book 1
Narrated by: Susan Lyons
Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the start of an all-new mystery series set in pre-World War II Europe, an intrepid young photographer carries her imperiled lover's final, urgent message into the heart of Berlin as Hitler ascends to power.

On vacation from London on the beautiful Italian coast, 28-year-old Elena Standish and her older sister Margot have finally been able to forget some of the lasting trauma of the Great War. Touring with her camera in hand, Elena has found new inspiration in the striking Italian landscape, and she's met an equally striking man named Ian. Not ready to part from one another, she and Ian share a train trip home to England. But a shocking murder disrupts their agenda, forcing Elena to personally deliver a message to Berlin that could change the fate of Europe. 

Back home, Elena's diplomat father and secretive grandfather - the former head of MI6, unbeknownst to his family - are involved in their own international machinations. Working behind the scenes as Elena tries to complete her mission on the ground, they interfere with a crucial political rally for one of Germany's most outspoken fascists. With Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich on the rise, and Elena caught in the middle of an international incident, anyone she encounters might be part of a deadly plot. 

In the first novel of a riveting new series by best-selling author Anne Perry, family secrets merge with suspense on the world stage, and Elena learns that, in these complicated times, no one can be trusted, and she must learn to rely only on herself.

©2019 Anne Perry (P)2019 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Promising beginning to a new series

Anne Perry is one of my favorite authors although I have definite preferences for some of her series over others. This one looks like a potential winner for me. Interesting family dynamics, complex relationships, and of course the intrigue of the. Leading up to the second world war. I look forward to the next entry!

2 people found this helpful

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Wow I want to hear more!

I am a huge fan of Anne Perry’s although some of her books are not as satisfying as others. This one did not disappoint. It was exciting until the very end with twists and turns I did not foresee. I can’t wait for the next installment of Elena Standish’s story in the lead up to World War II.

2 people found this helpful

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Too Over The Top

I do not recommend this first novel of a new series by Ann Perry. It completely missed the mark for good entertainment and believability. The writing is often trite.

1 person found this helpful

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Insufferable narration

Ms Lyons delivers a particularly dreary and tedious tone and cadence to a novel already weighted by minutiae. I will studiously avoid audible books featuring her narration .

1 person found this helpful

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Anne Perry Channels Alfred Hitchcock

I was eager to listen to the first book of Anne Perry's brand new series, having listened to most of her other series. This new book with its female protagonist reminded me of an Alfred Hitchcock film, think Alex Hannay in the 39 Steps, where an innocent person is unwittingly sucked into a drama they have no knowledge of and has to wend their way through despite what happens to them.
Having read Pitt and Monk and the World War I books, I was pleasantly surprised by this book - Elena is a refreshing character, an innocent, unlike Hester who nursed in the Crimea and Charlotte who "married beneath her station". I love that Perry is creating new characters and new series in a different time, and I'm ready for the next Elena Standish book.

1 person found this helpful

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Good overview of Berlin in the 30s

Shows the fear and horror of the rise of nazism in Germany. A little repetitive in its narrative. Looking forward to next volume.

1 person found this helpful

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So very awful

I have enjoyed some of Anne Perry’s series in the past in spite of her tendency to wordiness and habit of repeating information. Most of the time the story line and characters made those ‘sins’ forgivable. But, oh my...I can’t forgive her this time. The plot is predictable and the main character a twit. And the sentences just go on and on without moving forward - like turning in endless circles. I started to groan out loud it got so maddening. I wouldn’t waste a credit on this.

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A bit to wordy...and predictable

I have been an Anne Perry fan for a long while. I have read a number of her books. This one is the wordiest ones, it interrupts the flow of the plot.
Hope the next book isn’t this way. Otherwise a good book.

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Anne Perry does it again

This is very different than other Anne Perry novels but I enjoyed it, possibly even more. I like historical fiction about both Wars and this book was chilling in its depiction of the rise of Naziism. The storyline was very good, albeit chilling and nailbiting and upsetting at times. The characters were interesting and nuanced. And I must say that the narration was extraordinary.

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Another excellent Anne Perry series

Very good story. II look forward to more. I found the reader to be rather dreary, though.