Intriguing Start

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The Diplomat's Wife starts in 1979 with Phil having to give up his plans to spend the summer hitch-hiking around Europe with his friend, Mike, after writing off his father's car. Phil has just left school and is awaiting his results to find out if his grades are good enough to get into university. He and his friend worked during the Easter break to save money for their trip however he has had to give the money to his father as part payment of the excess on the car insurance. An unlikely saviour comes in the form of his grandmother whose late husband was a diplomat and they'd lived in various cities in Europe before the war. She explains to the family that she has wanted to travel to these places for some time and fabricates a story of being in danger of losing her licence so offers Phil a job as her chauffeur for the trip. One of Phil's former teachers has arranged to meet him in the local pub and introduces Phil to a friend of his, a civil servant who uses a fictitious name. Phil imagines this man must have links to MI5 or MI6 and is intrigued when he is asked to 'do something for his country'. Phil and his grandmother start their journey with a visit to her former family home then Michael Ridpath takes his readers back to 1934 and her young days. There is definitely at least one mystery here, possibly more, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this book by a brilliant author who never disappoints.