This book rounds off the story started in "The Language of Bees". I was glad I'd bought them both together, since I suspect I would have been very frustrated had I bought just the first, since it is very much a two-part story.
This book shows Russell and Holmes coming back together after being separated at the end of "The Language of Bees". There are, of course, airplane crashes, murder attempts, disguises, hidden messages and chases through the back streets of London first! I enjoyed spending more time with characters introduced in the first book - the pilot Javitz, Damien, and the charmingly precocious (maybe too much so?) Estrella. A new character is Robert Goodman - I found parts of his story a little thin, like he could have had his own book, but he was an enjoyable character to spend time with.
The one part of this book I didn't enjoy so much was the ending - it felt a little rushed, and since the Baddie from the first book is dispatched without much fanfare without another confrontation with our heroes, I would have liked a more well-rounded, satisfying, ending to this book. However, I can't say that it didn't tidy up most of the loose ends and laid a few tantalising clues for future plots without making me feel it was just setting up for another sequel. That is to say, this book concludes the story from "The Language of Bees", and sits well as a book in a series without feeling that the story is being left abruptly.
That being said, I do hope that the next book in the series allows us to spend some more time with Holmes and Russell together - I don't always feel that they're working in tandem in their partnership, let alone as a married couple. I want domesticity. Just a little bit, before the next mystery comes along!
A must-buy for any fans of the Mary Russell series, although I couldn't recommend this novel as a starting point for a new reader.