Published by Other Press, May 2012
From the New Yorker, 10 September 2012
“In this enthralling spy novel, Marian, a young Englishwoman,
is sent on a secret mission to Vichy France... The book is full of
the fascinating minutiae of espionage – aircraft drops, double
agents, scrambled radio messages... Mawer exhibits a great feeling
for suspense, and produces memorable episodes in dark alleyways, deserted
cafés, and shadowy corners of Père Lachaise.”
From the New York Times, 10 August 2012
"Spiky banter and character shadings... whoosh by at such velocity
that... you’re left dangling at the denouement in cliffhanger
purgatory, waiting for the sequel."
From the Washington Post, 11 June 2012
“...a stark, focused adventure. It moves swiftly from Marian Sutro’s recruitment as an undercover operative during World War II through her training and her dangerous mission in France to a cliffhanging climax in a train station that ought to have a neon sign flashing 'Sequel This Way.'
...Although narrower in scope than Mawer’s earlier work, it
is no less rich and provocative. And in Marian he has created a marvelous
heroine, called by circumstance to a life she was born for."
From the Seattle Times, 3 June 2012
In a perfect combination of intrigue, romance, betrayal and incredible
bravery, Mawer has, once again, as he did in "The Glass Room,"
told a story that is factual and fictional with the edges blurred
just so. The ending is a snapper, totally unexpected, but do not despair:
The publisher promises a sequel.
From the Columbus Dispatch, 27 May 2012
“...finely wrought... Readers will be stunned as they read
the final pages of this fast-paced and exhilarating historical novel
about a young woman’s path to maturity.”
From Booklist, Starred Review, 1 May 2012
Much-lauded British author Mawer vividly describes the deprivations in a waroccupied country and its once-vibrant capital and provides testimony to the courage of countless members of the French Resistance. But this is primarily a masterfully crafted homage to the 53 extraordinary women of the French section of the SOE on whose actual exploits the novel is based. With its lyrical yet spare prose and heart-pounding climax, this is a compelling historical thriller of the highest order.
From The Daily Beast, 30 April 2012
Like the best historical fiction, the book is very much of its intended time, full of clandestine tidbits and Churchillian attitude, but not to the exclusion of the human elements that are required of any compelling story. And although the narrative cleaves tightly enough to the realm of possibility, it is also so full of adventure as to be an almost J.K. Rowling–escapist fantasy, with spies replacing wizards. What teenager couldn’t daydream about being plucked from her ordinary life, told that she had special desirable skills, and dropped into the unknown in order to liberate her homeland from history’s most hated heels?