It is 1914, but war has not yet broken out. Olivia Dunbar, a young English woman, is working in Germany as a private secretary. She obtains secret military information, and becomes entangled in a British secret agent operation, and encounters the terrifying Dr. Grundt, head of German counter-intelligence: the „crouching beast” of the title. „The Crouching Beast” by Valentine Williams is an example of the reluctant spy sub-genre, in which an innocent civilian finds himself caught up in the dangerous game of espionage. The twist in this book is that the innocent civilian is a young woman. She is also the narrator of the tale. Third in the seven book series about the dreaded German Secret Service Chief Dr. Adolph Grundt. „The Crouching Beast” is an effective and enjoyable espionage thriller.