This installment of Yarbro’s long running series finds the Count dealing with McCarthyism. The Count, though his publishing house, meets various members of the Coven, a group of exiles from the US. He takes particular interest in Charis, a woman who has been forced to Europe, even while she misses her sons and husband.
As most long time’s readers of the Count know, the modern setting is a bit of departure for Yarbro, and her conveying of the frustration and anger of the various Coven members is particularly well done. She gets bonus points for making the reactions different. Further, while her view of the spies is at times too murky (and this is no doubt intentional), the subtle comparison between the woman spy and the various women of the Coven trying to find work is great.
Charis is both at once a fascinating and annoying figure. At times, her problems seem to lack impact because we usually get the Count’s view of them (in other words, when she is telling the Count about them), but her reaction to the Count’s nature is very modern and extremely well crafted.