The latest story of Susan Elias MacNeal, The Paris Spy, has all the smoothness of a Chàteau Lafitte Rothschild. The descriptions are lovely on the Rue Saint Honorè, a boulevard filled with People- though there is the palatable taste of fear mixed with patriotism. I can actually see Paris like a downtrodden flower, with rainy streets trampled by the Germans. The darkness, filled with humiliation for some... beauty and fashion for others.
Hope has a job to do for Intelligence. She is posing as a neutral Irishwoman coming to buy
her trousseau and accidentally meets the famous Coco Chanel. They attend the ballet and Moulin Rouge together. That opens the door to the fashionable among the Germans and
the French. Four other Agents are there in the huge gathering and an arrest occurs. Two of those four are friends of Maggie and she will not rest until they all complete their Assignments. British Agents have been signing in with information in code and leaving off their security checks. It is vital the Germans do not have the codes.Tension is high as the SOE has a mission to complete and the alternative is death for thousands of Soldiers if any leaks occur.
MacNeal, writes descriptively of the life that the Parisians had in the midst of a takeover by the Germans.The beautiful Women, that German Officers pursued in their boredom, with drink and fashion... may be Collaborators or something else. But the Author also masters the wartime terror of the Agents sent in to bring back information. For those outside the favor of the Nazi Officers are dealt a much different treatment than most of France. They see only starvation and torture.
I have always loved WWII research and the detail that goes into these stories. The glamour of mixing artists and actresses with the descriptions of creativity in a Country at War and the horror seem to go hand- in -hand. The little vignettes of courage were touching that those people who went into intelligence faced. For they knew the risks when they were sent behind enemy lines and went anyway. They did not take the easy way out.
I found this book well researched and incredibly moving for the sake of its contents. The tension kept me on the edge of my seat. I read this in one night and couldn't sleep until I had finished it.
American-born spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope
secretly navigates Nazi-occupied France to find two brave women during
the darkest days of World War II in the latest novel in this New York Times bestselling series—“a treat for WWII buffs and mystery lovers alike” (Booklist, on The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent).
Maggie Hope has come a long way since serving as a typist for Winston
Churchill. Now she’s working undercover for the Special Operations
Executive in the elegant but eerily silent city of Paris, where SS
officers prowl the streets in their Mercedes and the Ritz is draped with
swastika banners. Walking among the enemy is tense and terrifying, and
even though she’s disguised in chic Chanel, Maggie can’t help longing
But her missions come first. Maggie’s half sister,
Elise, has disappeared after being saved from a concentration camp, and
Maggie is desperate to find her—that is, if Elise even wants to be
found. Equally urgent, Churchill is planning the Allied invasion of
France, and SOE agent Erica Calvert has been captured, the whereabouts
of her vital research regarding Normandy unknown. Maggie must risk her
life to penetrate powerful circles and employ all her talents for
deception and spycraft to root out a traitor, find her sister, and
locate the reports crucial to planning D-Day in a deadly game of wits
with the Nazi intelligence elite.