Recent Reads: Eleventh Hour

 I thoroughly enjoy reading non-fiction as well as fiction, especially MM Romance, of course. But if a reference book or story of any genre has a historical setting, it will automatically go on my TBR list. So when fellow author, the very talented and lovely Addison Albright recommended Eleventh Hour by Elin Gregory, it was a one-click decision!

I was immediately engrossed in this ripping yarn of late 1920s spy craft, and drawn into the meticulously detailed view of London that Elin Gregory has created. Everything is note-perfect from the street scenes, accommodation, attitudes and mindset, and written so fluently that the vast amount of necessary research felt seamless.

The rapid pairing of experienced field agent, Briers Allendale with cypher clerk Miles Siward, posing as his ‘wife’ while on surveillance of a dangerous anarchist is inspired. I really loved the pacing of this story, from the often frustrating tailing of suspects and promising leads falling foul of bureaucracy, to the sense of danger and the John Buchan-style action scenes. But what made this story so outstanding for me was the characters (Miles’ loyal manservant Pritchard is a stand out) and the growing attachment between our couple.

Despite the sense of urgent threat from the anarchist plot, the author takes time over her character development and personally, this is what makes the story so special. Briers the world-weary and experienced spy comes across as a typical man’s man, so the fact he is gay and sexually active causes him no problems due to his conventionally masculine appearance. Miles, on the other hand, is youthful, short and slight and has a knack for disguising himself as a woman, the feisty ‘Millie’, a skill which his superiors find both useful to exploit and patronisingly distasteful at the same time (it is the 1920s after all!) That complicated reaction impacts Miles and his need to prove himself and also his growing relationship with Briers.

I really enjoyed the nuances of their connection, especially Miles (as himself and as Millie) fiercely counters Briers’ easy assumptions and attempts to protect him, which leads to the start of a very special bond. I really hope that book 2 in the series will be re-released whenever that’s possible as I can’t wait to read more about Miles and Briers and their adventures in the increasingly high-stakes world of 1930s espionage. Thank you Addison for an outstanding recommendation!

2 thoughts on “Recent Reads: Eleventh Hour

  1. I’m so glad you read this! It’s easily one of my favorites now, and I’m in the middle of my umteenth reread of it as we speak. I literally just switched apps away from reading it to make a round of checking what’s happening on social media and spotted your post. Your review is spot one. Everything about this book from the gripping storyline to the pacing to the character development is brilliant. You are better placed to know the accuracy of the actual history and location details, but I’m not surprised that’s accurate, too. I hope you don’t have too long of a wait for the rerelease of Midnight Flit…it’s a great story, too. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so grateful that you posted about this Addison and I could discover a wonderful writer new to me! 😘 This is definitely on my favourites list now. I’m so pleased you thought I did the story justice in any way. I learned so much about London at the time (like that devastating flood that hit the east coast and surged up the Thames) and was gripped by the plot and the characters. Brilliant, as you say! I’ll just have to be patient and hang on to read Midnight Flit! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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