Monday, December 7, 2015

A WWII Spy Novel with a Mystery

In the days leading up to WWII, David Ashby, a WWI hero ,fears that the daughter he left behind in Germany is being indoctrinated in Nazism. He kidnaps the child and brings her to England. He recruits Hilary Bowker-Brown, an aspiring novelist who has bought property on the Cornish coast, to keep the child safe.

His estranged wife, Christina, daughter of a high ranking German general, wants her daughter back and is willing to involve the Abwehr to accomplish it. However, Burghardt, head of the Abwehr in Bremen turns the tables and sends her to England to reclaim the child with the help of a sleeper, an agent who was introduced many years ago to England and is now being awakened to assist Christina. But who is the sleeper?

The plot centers on the kidnapping and the efforts of both sides to claim the child. While it makes an interesting start for the action, I found it a little hard to believe that so many resources would be used to reclaim a child, no matter now high ranking her grandfather.

The characters are realistic. Ashby and Hilary are complex characters. Janes does a good job of using their fears and desires to drive the plot. As usual with a Janes novel, the detail is excellent. If you enjoy realistic WWII novels you won't be disappointed in the setting.

For all the good qualities of the novel there are problems besides the unrealistic premise. The novel starts slowly. The action doesn't pick up until fairly near the end. However, the final scenes are fast paced. There is also a great deal of concern about sexual behavior that doesn't seem relevant to the major thread of the novel.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.