Half a Crown (Small Change #3)
Peter Carmichael is commander of the Watch, Britain’s distinctly British secret police. It’s his job to warn the Prime Minister of treason, to arrest plotters, and to discover Jews. The midnight knock of a Watchman is the most dreaded sound in the realm.
Now, in 1960, a global peace conference is convening in London, where Britain, Germany, and Japan will oversee the final partition of the world. Hitler is once again on British soil. So is the long exiled Duke of Windsor—and the rising gangs of “British Power” streetfighters, who consider the Government “soft,” may be the former king’s bid to stage a coup d’état.
Amidst all this, two of the most unlikely persons in the realm will join forces to oppose the fascists: a debutante whose greatest worry until now has been where to find the right string of pearls, and the Watch Commander himself.
Reader reviewed by Mairi
Elvira Royston, daughter of the late Sargeant Royston, has been raised by her father's old superior in Scotland Yard (Carmichael, now the commander of the London Watch) since she was a girl of ten. Though she shares none of her foster- father's hatred for the fascist regime, her concerns are less frivolous than those of the typical deb. She intends to study at Oxford, though this is a bit scandalous given her position.
I've been waiting to get my hands on this book since I finished Ha'penny months ago. It's the last book in the trilogy (Farthing was the first) and it doesn't disappoint, though I really, really wish I had another one to look forward to. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I wish I had another one to read and wince through painfully.
Make no mistake, Half A Crown is not a happy story, but I loved it, and I loved the characters, and I wanted it to end well even though I knew the conclusion would be bittersweet at best.