Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #NewRelease #WW2 THE SECRET STEALERS by @HealeyJane

The Secret StealersThe Secret Stealers by Jane Healey

4.5 stars

The Secret Stealers is a World War Two espionage story. It begins in Washington DC, where Anna Cavanaugh has been invited to work for Major General William Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services. This is the American version of the British Secret Service and Anna relishes her new responsibilities.

With her photographic memory and fluency in both French and German, Anna is keen to do more against the war which rages in Europe. She’s also worried about some friends whom she met in Paris when she lived there just before the war, so when an opportunity to be a secret agent is offered, with the purpose of discovering what the Germans are covertly working on, Anna leaps at the chance.

What follows is a thrilling spy story set against the background that surrounded the hardships and bravery of the French Resistance fighters. The narrative had plenty of grit and fear, which I expected to read in this genre, as Anna and those she worked with put themselves in great danger. Anna is a likeable character and I enjoyed her determination to fulfil all her roles.

I must say that I did begin the book with a few doubts because the war was going to be seen through the eyes of an American; I was worried that some of the real suffering and peril might have been glossed over. There were one or two stereotypes which might grate with some English readers. However, I wasn’t particularly bothered by them myself, because the rest of the story was very well written and my doubts were blown away.

So overall, this was a good piece of historical fiction and I would happy recommend it to those who enjoy stories set during the war.

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Book description

A female American spy in Nazi-occupied France finds purpose behind enemy lines in a novel of unparalleled danger, love, and daring by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Beantown Girls.

Anna Cavanaugh is a restless young widow and brilliant French teacher at a private school in Washington, DC. Everything changes when she’s recruited into the Office of Strategic Services by family friend and legendary WWI hero Major General William Donovan.

Donovan has faith in her—and in all his “glorious amateurs” who are becoming Anna’s fast friends: Maggie, Anna’s down-to-earth mentor; Irene, who’s struggling to find support from her husband for her clandestine life; and Julia, a cheerful OSS liaison. But the more Anna learns about the organization’s secret missions, the more she longs to be stationed abroad. Then comes the opportunity: go undercover as a spy in the French Resistance to help steal critical intelligence that could ultimately turn the tide of the war.

Dispatched behind enemy lines and in constant danger, Anna is filled with adrenaline, passion, and fear. She’s driven to make a difference—for her country and for herself. Whatever the risk, she’s willing to take it to help liberate France from the shadows of occupation and to free herself from the shadows of her former life.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview of #WW2 Resistance #Thriller Night Flight To Paris by @davidgilmanuk

Night Flight to Paris: A World War II thriller from the bestselling author of the Master of War seriesNight Flight to Paris: A World War II thriller from the bestselling author of the Master of War series by David Gilman

4 stars

Night Flight To Paris is a second world war thriller.

The book opens in Paris, as members of the resistance are hunted and captured. Cell members have been working to smuggle an important informer out of France. However, it’s possible that there’s a traitor at work.

Ex-Parisian Harry Mitchell works in Britain as a code-breaker. He doesn’t have a military background, but he knows Paris and he was involved with setting up escape lines for refuges and stranded airmen early in the war. Now he’s asked to go back.  His incentive? The Germans have his daughter.

The British train Harry to be a competent secret agent, then they send him on his dangerous mission: he must find the valuable informant, investigate the Paris cell, flush out the traitor, and then find his daughter.

Books which feature the resistance in the second world war always attract me so I was looking forward to this one. I enjoyed the brief Bletchley Park section, then later I was pleased to see evidence of a number of resistance activities. The story gallops along at a fair pace with plenty of tension and action, another plus point. However, I did struggle with the huge cast of characters and I thought too many of them were given roles which muddied the tightening of the plot. I also wasn’t convinced, at times, with Harry’s military knowledge and how easily he morphed into a top secret agent. I thought he would have been stricter with all the coded messaging, given his background at Bletchley Park, which would have made his character more believable.

Overall a reasonable resistance-themed war story, but with a cast size more suited to the screen where visual recognition is easier than from the written word. Also, my enjoyment was marred by not finding the actions of the lead character, who I wanted to like, entirely believable.

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Book description

Paris, 1943.

The swastika flies from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Soldiers clad in field grey patrol the streets. Buildings have been renamed, books banned, art stolen and people disappeared. Amongst the missing is an Allied intelligence cell.

Gone to ground? Betrayed? Dead? Britain’s Special Operations Executive need to find out. They recruit ex-Parisian and Bletchley Park codebreaker Harry Mitchell to return to the city he fled two years ago.

Mitchell knows Occupied Paris – a city at war with itself. Informers, gangsters, collaborators and Resistance factions are as ready to slit each other’s throats as they are the Germans’. The occupiers themselves are no better: the Gestapo and the Abwehr – military intelligence – are locked in their own lethal battle for dominance. Mitchell knows the risks: a return to Paris not a mission – it’s a death sentence.

But he has good reason to put his life on the line: the wife and daughter he was forced to leave behind have fallen into the hands of the Gestapo and Michell will do whatever it takes to save them. But with disaster afflicting his mission from the outset, it will take all his ingenuity, all his courage, to even get into Paris… unaware that every step he takes towards the capital is a step closer to a trap well set and baited.

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