Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Hither, Page

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Hither, Page (2019) Cat Sebastian

Hither, PageSet in England in 1946.

I’ll be honest, although the premises of most of her books are my thing, I just haven’t loved most of Cat Sebastian’s books. They generally have a lot of sex, and the plot aren’t always enough of my thing to get past that personal hurdle.

But this book? This was perfect for me.

James Sommers was a surgeon during WWII, and is struggling with battle fatigue to the point that although he is now a country doctor, he is completely unable to operate any longer.

“No, I assure you that I’m farther gone than most. And I wasn’t even a soldier. All I did was, as you said, stitch people up. What right do I have to—”

“No.” Page laid a hand on his shoulder. “What you’re not going to do is talk about shell shock or combat fatigue or brain fuckery as if it’s a special treat that you haven’t earned.”

Page was a spy and sometimes assassin before the war, and continued his work through and now after the war.

Anyone who inquired into his background would discover a minor functionary in one of the less notable offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an unremarkable war record and an interest in bird watching that led him to take holidays in odd places. Leo felt a sort of affectionate embarrassment for this version of Leonard Page.

And he doesn’t understand why he is being sent to Wychcomb St. Mary to see why someone might have murdered a charwoman.

Of course there’s more than that, but the mystery unfolds over the course of the story, and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.

And there are so many lovely parts, both from James and other soldiers working through their trauma, and Page trying to determine if he is more than his past.

He had come to England as a child and had never really thought of himself as a Catholic, but it still struck him as vaguely debased that the churches here tended not to use incense. This, he supposed, was as close to a religious conviction as he was ever going to develop. He had no inclination to linger in this foreign, wrong-smelling house of worship.

It’s a lovely story, an interesting mystery, and there wasn’t a lot of boinking–all pluses for me.

Published by Cat Sebastian
Rating: 8.5/10


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