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Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear
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Mar 10, 09

bookshelves: fiction-crime-detection
Read in March, 2009

Winspear, Jacqueline. AMONG THE MAD. (2009). ****.
This author has been consistently putting out excellent installments in her Maisie Dobbs series, and this is another one. This time, Maisie has to deal with an unknown man who has threatened to do the City of London (or people in it) some sort of grievious harm unless his demands are met. His demands are that the veterans of the Great War be given the pensions that they were promised – especially those who were not recognized as being “wounded” but who could not lead a productive life because of mental damage caused by the War. Shell shock or other forms of mental effects of battle were not recognized by the government as a form of injury. These returning men were often berated as being malingerers and sent back to the front. There were no real forms of treatment for the men when they got home; they were usually put into asylums for a while until stable, and then released into the general community. Maisie is called into the investigation by Scotland Yard since she was specifically mentioned by name in the first ‘blackmail’ letter. It all happened when she and her assistant were walking down the street and happened to witness a crippled man commit suicide by setting off a grenade while holding it next to his body. Maisie does get involved, and her participation leads her into several institutions in London and it environs that catered to men with post-traumatic stress syndrome. She also finds that the British government is still conducting research on chemical weapons that – supposedly – were banned by the Geneva Conventions. In spite of inter-agency rivalry within the police and other security bureaus, Maisie does manage to lead officials to the man behind the threats before mayhem is set loose on the City. This is another excellent read by Ms. Winspear. Recommended.
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