THOUGHTS  |  DREAMS  |   ACTION

THOUGHTS   |   DREAMS   |   ACTION

Thoughts from a writing life…

SUNDAY TIMES THRILLER OF THE MONTH!

Thanks to John Dugdale for selecting A Treachery of Spies as the Sunday Times Thriller of the Month!

Read more below:

The superb A Treachery of Spies by Manda Scott (Bantam Press £16.99) follows in its present-day storyline a murder investigation in France, where someone is bumping off former members of a wartime Resistance unit. Interwoven historical sections tell the heroes’ story, together with that of their SOE allies (code breakers in London and spies trained in the Highlands). Enigmatic Sophie Destivelle is the pivotal figure in both strands, a British agent sent to join the Maquis in the Jura in the 1940s, and the first victim aged 90 in 2018.

Novels with split narratives carry the risk that one strand will outshine the other, but there’s no danger of that here. The whodunnit is as good as any Fred Vargas mystery — and its outcome sheds light not only on what happened in the Jura in 1944-45, but more broadly on how the anti-Nazi struggle shaped the postwar decades — while the wartime chapters are realised with a blend of historical imagination and storytelling verve reminiscent of Robert Harris.

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