Friday, April 20, 2012

Trapeze-Simon Mawer


Simon Mawer

Other Press, May 1 2012, $15.95

ISBN: 9781590515273

During WWII the British Special Operations Executive drafts nineteenth years old Marian Sutro to work undercover in occupied France due to her being a native French speaker. Marian attends spy school and commando training. When deemed ready by her controllers, she is parachuted into Nazi held territory before making her way to Paris to join the WORDSMITH resistance.

Marian also has a second mission given to her by another top secret agency since she has a connection to a key scientist working for the Germans. She is to persuade those researchers working on the atomic bomb to defect. However, her contact with the scientists is noted because the Nazis watch diligently every move they make and by default their visitors make.

This is an engaging WWII drama in which a good part of the first half of the book sets the fascinating genuine historical stage of the thirty nine women sent by SOE into enemy territory. Though that opening act is slow but interesting, the action picks up once Marian goes to France even as there remains plenty of 1940s tidbits. The heroine’s risky and naive escapades are exciting as she works behind enemy lines on her two missions.

Harriet Klausner

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