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We Shall Not Sleep (World War I, #5)
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We Shall Not Sleep

(World War I #5)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,542 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Anne Perry’s magnificent Victorian mysteries established her as one of the world’s best known and loved historical novelists. Now, in her vividly imagined World War I novels, Perry’s talents “have taken a quantum leap” (The Star-Ledger), and so has the number of her devoted readers. We Shall Not Sleep, the final book in this epic series featuring the dedicated Reavley fami ...more
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,542 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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Mary Ellen
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
If you are an Anne Perry fan, then probably you'll enjoy this series, since the things that bugged me about it the most were characteristic of one of her other books (from the series with a husband and wife, IIRC). I know there are many Anne Perry fans out there, so maybe it is just me.

However, I think this book would have to try the patience of even her stalwart fans. She was running out of steam, running out of plot, running out of things to say in general, but, alas, not running out of pages.
Stephanie Pieck
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The mark of an excellent author is that they can weave things into their stories that would be dismissed as gratuitous in anyone else's hands and get away with it. For instance: murder mysteries that include spies, at least according to pop culture cliché, have to include a getaway in a car of some kind, right? Well, ...
In this finale to her outstanding series, Perry once again sets up a devilish knot of a problem. A nurse is found brutally murdered at a casualty clearing station near Ypres, Fra
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent ending to a great series. Beyond the murder mystery and the rich details of the period, and even beyond the great conflict created in the series, Anne Perry does a fantastic job of asking spiritual questions and providing gentle, potential answers. I was impressed throughout the books with the characters' very believable lack of faith in a God who would allow World War I to happen. It made me think about the events in my life that make me question if God is watching over me. ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Usually Anne writes Victorian mysteries such as her William Monk and Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels, but in her We Shall Not Weep, a World War One novel, is the final book in this epic series featuring the heroic Reavley family. After four long years, peace is finally in sight. But, chaplain Joseph Reavley and his sister Judith, an ambulance driver on the Western Front, are more had pressed than ever. Behind the lines., violence is increasing: Soldiers are abusing German prisoners, a nurse has ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
It is the final weeks of the war: Judith and Joseph are still at the front, and Matthew is in London continuing his work with Secret Intelligence. One evening, late, Matthew has a visitor to his flat delivering a message that there is someone willing to cross the lines and come to England to help them expose the one they've called the Peacemaker. Matthew decides to take his word and proceeds up to the front (reuniting with Judith and Joseph) to then connect with Colonel Schenckendorff and make ...more
Jan Mazzulla
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Anne Perry is not an author I usually read. That said, I have mowed my way through her First World War Series. One thing that can be said for Anne Perry is that her language in impeccable. You really feel the authenticity of her characters' voices, from the lowliest of farm workers to the most exalted in the realm. Is this series without fault? Not by any means, there are a few loud clunkers, but anyone who has done as much research as Ms. Perry and had been able to produce 5 superb books all fe ...more
An excellent, satisfying ending to this five-part series. At first it seems that a crime on the front lines of WWI is just a distraction to keep up the action and suspense, but Perry masterfully makes it part of the larger story. The twists and turns and danger last just long enough; the winding-up occurs at exactly the right pace (when it so easily could have been rushed). Perry gets better and better--and she was so good to start!
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We Shall Not Sleep (WWI Book#5)

The last book of this series is totally absorbing. As well as a dramatic story of a family stretched by tragedy, in fact, the scope of the entire series dives deeply into the depths and heights of the human condition with a history of the very real pain, as well as joy, interwoven into considerations of what makes us worth saving plus what drags our whole race into the mud.
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Set largely against the infinitely depressing backdrop of the trenches in the final weeks and days of WWI, this has a plot comprising, essentially, two detective mysteries and a thriller.

The first mystery is the savage murder -- sexually assaulted with a bayonet -- of one of the nurses at the particular frontline medical post that's the focus of the action. It becomes clear that the investigating cops (first a pair of civilian cops, then a pair of military ones) aren't hugely interested in makin
Roman Clodia
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally Perry's WW1 quintet of novels is brought to its emotional ending, but though I think these are hugely under-rated books, I was slightly disappointed with this book.

It's October 1918 on the Western Front and though the war is finally drawing towards an inevitable armistice, the violence and despair continues. In the midst of the carnage of Ypres a nurse is raped with a bayonet and horrifically mutilated before being left to die, and Joseph Reavley has to find her killer. Ideally it would
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: public-library
I am sorry to say good-bye to the series, but I shall probably never say good-bye to the characters. Yes, I know she returns to observations and themes that first appeared in the Cater Street Hangman but now with decades of ever deepening understanding of some of the deepest aspects of human life and decision making these books psychological thrillers. The tension did not let up till the very last page. There is her supreme talent, to build a sweeping vision out of the bits and pieces in everyda ...more
The last in the series about the Reaveley family. This one brings Judith, Matthew, and Joseph together in one place as the World War draws to a close. The war's end is only months a way and German soldiers are crossing the lines and surrendering. Violence towards them is erupting as soldiers, suffering loss and privation, let go and seek revenge. Joseph has refused promotion so he can remain with his men.

Matthew receives word that a German officer, the German counterpart of the Peacemaker, is g
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it

From her WWI series, this book solves the question of the mastermind behind a plot to dominate the world on the pretext of stopping all war. The question was at what price could the world be free of war? Was the plot to end war really about peace, power, or just a cessation of killing? Other questions that arise throughout this series include: Would a God allow the horrors of war? Can love remain intact following the horrors of wartime experience? How can men and women who lived through the batt
Marian H.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I hesitate to judge, because it was the first book I've read by this author, and the last one in a series, BUT...I thought it was tedious and preachy. I know that's not fair of me. I picked it at random off the library shelf.
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Just finished the final book (CD) in the 5 book series. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although the descriptions of the war were difficult to listen to. Fascinating history imbedded in this series.
Laura Edwards
Sep 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2009 rated it liked it
I have mixed views on this series. It's a historically-based fiction/mystery based in World War One England. The weakest parts of the stories are the mysteries, so if you are reading for a good mystery, this is not the place to come. The historical context is good, but the focus on the mystery takes a bit away from it. I learned a lot on British POV of WW1, but I didn't really get immersed into the time period like really good historical novels will cause me to do. Everything that is said and do ...more
Susan Kirk
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
We Shall Not Sleep (WWI, # 5) concludes the 5-book series about World War One, giving us a glimpse of the end of the war and the Reavley family's future. I loved the way Perry took a family of four children, removed their parents, and showed multiple aspects of the war through the lives of those four. Joseph Reavley is a chaplin at the front, Judith is an ambulance drive, Matthew is in the intelligence service, and Hannah is at home watching her children and awaiting the return of her naval offi ...more
This series has been disappointing for me in general. We Shall Not Sleep shares some of the small, consistent flaws of the whole -- overuse of the same details to establish place and atmosphere, overwrought characters -- but has some others as well.

This book takes place at the end of World War I, and I found various characters' extreme prescience hard to credit -- their easy predictions about the European economy and the probability of Germany becoming belligerent again struck me as anachronist
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
With a sinister "Peacemaker" threatening the world even as WWI ends, the three Reavley siblings (a chaplain, an ambulance driver, and an intelligence officer) combine forces to deliver a high ranking German officer but are waylaid by a murder near the front lines at Ypres--a murder gruesome even to those accustomed to the wholesale slaughter of trench warfare. Their personal lives are inextricably bound into the plot and the subplot. Throughout the novel there is much beautifully written philoso ...more
Janet Mahlum
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent book, very good writing. Spies, rape, murder and a race to uncover the villain before the war ends. I completely missed the murderer. But, once revealed and thinking back on what I had read, I realized it should have been obvious. I was as guilty of snap judgment as the investigators. Once again Anne Perry's depth of understanding amazed me. A favorite quote from the book: "No matter how much you loved someone, you could not alter who you were in order to be comfortable with them. If y ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent!! Hard to put down. Anne Perry is a prolific writer who brings you into the story so easily. Her eye for detail makes her writing so rich. Here you feel as if she had been at the front of the fighting at Ypres herself and experienced the fear, the cold and mud, the pain of the wounded as well as the caregivers, the lice and the lack of everything. The bravery of so many and the deaths of even more. Any politician who decides to send men to war should read this book first. Yes it was a ...more
Lourdes Venard
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In this, the last of the five-book arc that spans World War I, the war is almost over, anticipated to end in a few weeks. But the Reavley siblings are rushing to uncover the man they call "the Peacemaker," who was behind their parents' murder and who seeks to break any stability that peace may bring. They get their break when his German counterpart crosses the line to meet with intelligence services officer Matthew Reavley. But before they can get him to London, a nurse is viciously murdered on ...more
Bonnie Bailey
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was really reluctant to start this series of 5. I thought it too daunting a saga to take on. I began w/ #'s 1 & 2, then went to 5; then 3 & 4, and loved the whole series. It made the puzzle more fun to me that way bc I could see the whole thing, & the characters were more developed for me that way. The whole series has stuck in my mind for a long time. Anne Perry can really weave a tale. I read a lot, & she is one of my all-time favorites, having finished all of her Monk & ...more
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The WWI series is my favorite of Anne Perry's. If you don't like reading pages & pages of people's feelings & emotions, you won't like this book, but if you enjoy really getting to know the characters & what makes them tick & act the way they do, you will. With each of her major characters, Perry gives you insight into their personalities.

I have just finished the last book in this series. More than any series I've run across, it needs to be read in order. The books are not stand
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2013
When I began reading this Anne Perry series, I was intrigued by the author's premise and enjoyed the characters she had created. However as I completed each of the five volumes, I became increasingly frustrated and annoyed. I persisted only because I wanted to know the identity of the Peacemaker. The author's penchant for creating unbelievable crises to impede the search for the Peacemaker and her willingness to throw a sequence of deux ex machina into her plots to either resolve or complicate t ...more
May 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Linda by: histroy buffs, those who read short novels

This book is the last in a series of books. I am learning about WW I from this novel. With murder, mayhem, mystery this author reels you in from the begining of the book. Even though I have not read the previous books, I find the explanations easily refer to something that happened in a previous novel, and do not hamper my enjoyment or understanding of the plot. I can't wait to get to the end of this novel to find out WHO! DONE IT. 2011 Jan. I re-read this book and enjoyed it from cover to
Dave Hoff
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
The last of the series, last page Nov. 11, 1918 11am. The 1st book, deals with the start of WW1, Enter the bad guy who has the parents of 2 boys, 2 girls killed as they were to expose a plot to unit England with Germany. In #5 book, we learn who the bad guy is. Along the way, murders, near misses, and the dirty trench warfare. One girl, a VAD ambulance driver, one son an Intell Security expert and one a Chaplain. Gives reader a good look of the awfulness on the war that killed millions of young ...more
Sheila Siler
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good conclusion to the series.

This was a good ending for this four book series. All loose ends are tied up and there is a satisfaction in how things conclude. I confess that finding out who the peacemaker is was only mildly interesting. Perhaps because it had been a while since I read the previous book. I liked the plot overall, but felt at times that this book series was mostly a vehicle to teach the reader history and philosophy. I am glad I read this book and finished the series.
Christine Page
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The final book in Anne Perry's World War I series ended with the unveiling of the Peacemaker. Yes, at times it was unrealistic in that all four Reavly brothers and sisters go through the war alive and come together in the end to confront the Peacemaker, but tt is fiction. The anguish of this war is on every page: the sacrifice of 34 million men, the change in society's social classes and the new role of women is described by the author very carefully. She seems almost prophetic when she writes " ...more
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Anne Perry (born Juliet Hulme) is a British historical novelist.

Juliet took the name "Anne Perry," the latter being her stepfather's surname. Her first novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published under this name in 1979. Her works generally fall into one of several categories of genre fiction, including historical murder mysteries and detective fiction. Many of them feature a number of recurrin

Other books in the series

World War I (5 books)
  • No Graves As Yet (World War I, #1)
  • Shoulder the Sky (World War I, #2)
  • Angels in the Gloom (World War I, #3)
  • At Some Disputed Barricade (World War I, #4)