As the end of World War I is imminent, 2 brothers (one a chaplain and one in the Secret Services of Britain) and 2 sisters (one an ambulance driver on the Western Front and one a homemaker in England)attempt to find a German spy who is placed highly in the English government. This spy, an Englishman, has been after the family and caused their parents to be killed since the war began. If you have ever read Anne Perry's Victorian mysteries, this book is quite a different flavor.
Although I didn't like the overly-philosophical, too-high-browed first book of Anne Perry's WWI series, I really enjoyed this ending book, "We Shall Not Sleep". The complex, human characters, the plot with all it's twists and turns, the descriptions of the abuses, injustices, the dehumanizing prejudices, the individual humanity the,personality and eithic challenges, changes, and nightmares, the suffering, and the individual triumphs that engulfed everyone from BOTH sides of WWI (in fact, it could have been ANY war, any side) were excellently told in a detailed, but readable writing style. The story thought-provoking and invoked in me many emotions as well. This is Anne Perry at her best.
One of the complaints that I had about the first book in the WWI series was the lack of a strong(in fact, an) female lead. By now, this is no longer the case. Judith, the youngest sister in the Reavely, has been an ambulance driver since the beginning of the war. She also does the female end of any sleuthing that needs to be done. Lizzie and other nurses also grow as strong characters of their own.
The two Reavely brothers, too, have grown in complexity, humanity, and action.
Surprisingly, the mystery about the rape and murder of a nurse, was actually secondary to the other action and plots of this novel.
German prisoners are being abused, civilian hatred against suspected German collaborators has taken on an evil life of its own. The Peacemaker, the continuing hidden villain throughout the series with will stoop to anything, including murder, to insure peace, but under a international dictatorship, has two of his most loyal confederates, one German and one English, ready to turn against him because they feel that he is just gone too far and has sacrificed his original purpose, negotiating peace, to ego and evil methods.
Frankly, the inclusion of the Peacemaker is my only complaint that I have about this series. I find him to be, for the most part, a distraction from the action and characters that interest me. I generally don't enjoy things like international intregue, mass conspiracies, and spies. This is the only reason that I didn't mark this book as a "favorite".
An excellent resolution to this series.