Despite large numbers of volunteer Special Operational Executive (SOE) agents having been dropped into occupied territory and thus having a huge impact on the outcome of World War II; until recent years there was very little acknowledgement of their valuable contribution to the war effort. Even less is known about the work of the capable, courageous female operatives, who often with only a month’s training demonstrated their bravery as they fearlessly executed intelligence missions.
Best-selling author Kelly Rimmer in her meticulously researched historical fiction novel ‘The Paris Agent’, has based her main characters on the heroic British – French spy Violette Szabo and British courier Diana Rowden, both of whom carried out dangerous assignments and were murdered in a German concentration camp close to the end of the war.
In 1970 after the recent death of his wife, who had discouraged him from delving into the past, retired secret service agent Noah Ainsworth feels the need to make contact with ‘Remy’ the man he believes saved his life during WWII.
With the aid of his daughter Charlotte, he begins to piece together his time as a SOE, and the role of the female agents Eloise (aka Fleur) and Josie (aka Chloe) who with limited training, joined him behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France. As the search for ‘Remy’ develops, the reader is exposed to the mystery, betrayal, sacrifice and intrigue surrounding the work of the SOE agents.
I highly recommend this moving, well written dual-timed novel set in 1944 and 1970, because it not only exposes the reader to the horrors of war but also to the power of female friendship. The page turning action, intrigue, mystery and suspense will keep the reader engaged until the very last page, when the two story lines come together in an emotional climax.
|Publisher||Hachette. Imprint Hachette Australia.|