The Diplomat’s Wife
Mira, May 2008, $13.95
During WWII Marta Nederman was an active member of the Polish resistance until she was caught by the Nazis. They sent her to Dachau to be tortured by the Gestapo in case she had useful information on her comrades and ultimately to die. She offered nothing that would threaten her brothers and sisters in arms.
When the ally armies capture the concentration camp, they are stunned by the horrific sights that greet them. Besides the mass of dead bodies and many dying shortly, few show any resemblance of good physical health including Marta. American GI Paul Mattison gives Marta her first water since the Gestapo captured her. Marta eventually goes to an Austrian refugee camp where she meets an ailing camp survivor Rose, who soon passes away. Marta takes Rose’s visa to go to London; on her trek across the continent she meets Paul in Paris where they make love. They vow to rendezvous in London in two weeks, but Paul’s plane crashes in the Channel. Pregnant Marta meets and marries diplomat Simon Gold. As the Communists are putting down an iron Curtain across Eastern Europe, Marta undertakes a dangerous mission in Poland with roots in her past.
This excellent histroical sequel to THE KOMMANDANT’S GIRL brings alive 1945 Poland as the Cold War is about to begin. The story line is fast-paced but driven by the cast especially the heroic Marta who realizes that she might have to sacrifice her happiness to expose a traitor. Fans of historical thrillers will appreciate Pam Jenoff’s terrific thriller as she brings alive the tension of battered Europe carved between the victors even as a war between former allies seems imminent.