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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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.