A Sunlight weapon
Imagine being a ferry pilot risking your life for your country. Jo Hardy a 22 year old feet pilot is delivering a Supermarine Spitfire. Someone is trying to shoot her down why? This is just the tip of a dangerous iceberg as she goes by foot to her location and what she finds will start a chain of events that leads her inside a bar finding a man bound and gagged. Rescuing him is step one and handing him over to the military police this victim’s nightmare. Accusations fly as he’s accused of the disappearance of another soldier.
Tragedy strikes s second time when another ferry pilot crashes and Jo seeks out Maisie Dobbs psychologist and investigator. Jo hopes that she can learn more about the private who is now in custody, learn something to help clear his name by hiring Maisie to investigate. But her investigation might impede her husband’s role as a high ranking attaché and has been enlisted to protect and ensuring the safety of Eleanor Roosevelt. There might be a connection to the death of the ferry pilot as the author brings the facts about how she might have been shot out, the circumstances surrounding her crash and her death and their connection to the two servicemen.
Complications arise and a witness to what might have caused the fatal crash and how to identify that on the ferry plane.
A second plot or subplot surrounding her daughter and the abuse and bullying she’s enduring in school. The headmistress looks away and what and feels the children should sort it out but Maisie realizes that there is more and get her daughter does and says will shock her . Will she remove her from this school and what does her husband think?
Maisie meets with the private to learn what he thinks happened to his friend and I’d she feels he’s telling the truth. Private Matthias Crittenden was the men in custody and Charlie Stone the one missing. Matthias was apprehensive about being alone with Maisie. She needed to learn who had aimed a weapon at Jo Hardy and who might have caused the death of Erica Langley. Hardy hopes he might assist in the inquiry about the missing soldier.
The author takes us more in-depth about Maisie’s daughter’s issues in school and hoping to get family support but she runs into roadblocks.
The other focus is her husband’s job to protect the First Lady but the problems she investigating might conflict with his mission and cause a rift .
Maisie will have to dig deep and even enlist the opinions of others who are part of the military but her husband cannot divulge secret information. With Billy as her driver and guide they methodically take steps and explore many options and places where both soldiers might have been and hopefully find Charlie. Plus keeping her daughter out of school eases some tension.
Racism is at the heart of this novel as proven by the injustices endured by black servicemen who are mistreated by white MP’s plus the prejudice shown against her daughter in school. Facing the legal system of the military plus having to protect Mrs. Roosevelt who’s fighting for workers, women, and the rights of children, and using her discoveries to help improve the welfare of people, this novel brings to light these issues, Mark and Maisie’s marital issues, and conflicting agendas. Maisie needs to understand the fate of Charlie Stone, the fate of the missing soldier, and the final scenes that tie most of it together Maisie and Billy talk about the next case but first, she needs to deal with the headmistress of her daughter’s school. A harsh revelation about the headmistress comes to light, her attitude towards children and her philosophy of tough love or worse allowing bullying, abuse, and not defending students in need of protection are hardcore issues that Maisie makes sure the headmistress better change or resign. She even brings her past and someone she lost explains why she’s so bitter but why she needs to let it go and change but will she?
Lives are affected, pasts need to be changed and the fate of the 2 servicemen revealed.
Notes that she reviewed about Ronnie Watkins and his debilitating condition plus dealing with the headmistress allows readers to know how far Maisie will go for justice and equality. Redemption is important when promising help for Marge and her farm plus a special call for her godson. A special Sunday dinner that will warm your heart and an ending that mirrors the beginning as fighter pilot Jo Hardy reminds us that the airplane was designed for lifting her and other women pilots high into the sunlight skies. Author Jacqueline Winspear takes us back in time to 1942 to relive those fighting for our country, the limitations faced, and reminds us of the brave women who flew those Spitfires and more.
Fran Lewis just reviews