Death in Focus by Anne Perry introduces the reader to heroine, Elena Standish.
Members of her family have careers in the diplomatic services and so did she until her ex husband betrayed her and the services too. Now she is a photographer attending an economics conference with her sister Margot.
While at the conference she meets Ian Newton, an economist journalist, and the two click, and a romance soon buds between them. Then the conference takes a sudden turn when a man’s dead body falls out of a cabinet.
Although shaken by the sight, the attendees of the conference recover, including Ian and Elena who decide to go off on their own to Paris. They grow closer and closer and then another shocking event occurs.
Ian leaves Elena to get tea but when he does not return after several minutes she goes looking for him. When she finds him he is bleeding to death from a stab wound. Ian tells her an important message she must get to Roger Cordell of the British embassy in Germany,.
Although shaken and fearful, Elena accepts the request. She meets with Roger Cordell, shows him the blood on her dress, and urges him to take Ian’s message seriously. He does but several pages later he recalls Elena’s visit on his own and with her sister and he does acts as if this earlier event never happened.
This felt strange to me as usually Anne Perry typically weaves her stories solidly but in Death in Focus this area of the story and another focusing on the spy world, is also disjointed.
Perry wrote of the spy world before in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series and so well too. If the Cordell misstep was the only one I could easily read another story with Elena, but there are more missteps.
Therefore, I am uncertain if I will want to read a second book featuring Elena.