Well! How to write review of this book without putting out spoilers for this truly magnificent piece of work by Allingham?
Let’s see–what can I see without giving it all away? This is indeed a Campion story, but a Campion we have not seen before–a Campion lacking most of his usual qualities and resources, on the wrong side of the law, running for his life and all the while knowing that there is some supremely important task impending, that the fate of the nation is involved, and that there is a definite but not well-defined deadline that only he can carry out–if he only knew what it was! We do have the presence of the staunchly loyal Lugg, as well as the unflinching support of Lady Amanda Fitton, neither of whom quite realize the exact nature of the Campion they are dealing with here. We are used to a Campion playing things close to his vest with an enigmatic plan for victory of which he is confident. But that is not the Campion we see here.
Allingham has presented us with a tour de force of writing at a blindingly brilliant level, even for her. I could barely stand to put it down. It does not seem possible, but with this book Allingham has surpassed herself.