“Erwin Rommel removed the goggles that had been sheltering his eyes from the desert sand, stepped out of his Horch armoured cabriolet and walked to the edge of the cliff perched over the East Mediterranean Sea.”
Number of Pages: 336
Date of Publication: 14 October 2021
Publisher: Lume Books
My Review Summary: A gripping World War II Thriller full of suspense and emotion.
Rome, 1942. Cordelia Olivieri is a young, determined hotel owner desperate to escape Mussolini’s racial persecution. But as Fascist leaders gather in Rome, Cordelia is suddenly surrounded by the world’s most ruthless and powerful commanders.
In an effort to keep her Jewish heritage a secret and secure safe passage out of Italy, Cordelia forms a dangerous alliance with the British army who want to push the Axis out of North Africa once and for all.
Going undercover, Cordelia begins obtaining and leaking military intelligence to a British agent, hoping the intel will secure her freedom. But the more Cordelia uncovers, the greater the risks – especially for one handsome German Afrika Korps officer.
How far must Cordelia go to protect her identity and secure passage out of Rome?
Spies, military secrets, and a personal crusade for freedom… don’t miss this utterly gripping World War II thriller.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I love a Thriller and when I saw that it involved spies I was there! I am sometimes a little bit unsure about books set in the War as it was an emotional time and it can get a bit much for me to read. This book however, whilst still having some very emotional moments in it, was a pleasure to read.
The story opens with a prologue where we are introduced to General Rommel and Von Mellenthin in North Africa. The setting is lightly described, which gives you just enough information without being too overbearing. What I particularly liked (and which was carried on throughout the story) was the description of the smell. In this particular case it was mint tea (other smells in the story include the smell of tea and flowers). I found that it gave an extra dimension to the story and a better all round picture, as opposed to merely describing what the settings looked like.
Immediately you are told the crux of what the story is going to be based around. I think that this prepares you for what you are about to read, but doesn’t spoil it, rather it sets the scene and you are gently introduced.
The book is separated into 2 parts, each with a quote from a prominent person during the War. We start with an appropriate quote from Winston Churchill which describes the beginning of the racial cleansing and then part 2 is a quote from Benito Mussolini regarding the military losses that Italy have suffered.
We immediately jump in with the story line that is going to be running alongside that which was introduced in the prologue. It is full of suspense and raises a few questions that will later be answered. Again, there is a description of smell which adds another layer to the story.
The next chapter is a time hop. Part 1 is full of time and place hops so you need to be on your guard. I don’t mind this hopping as it is all done to enhance the story and to give you a more rounded picture without being too much. I found that it was fairly easy to keep up with what was happening.
The following chapter we are introduced to the last piece in the puzzle. As the reader, you now have a lot of the information, but I don’t feel that this spoils anything. The way that it is written it actually adds to the suspense because you are waiting for the characters to find out what you know!
There is a lot of sneaking around throughout the story (which helps to link all the storylines together) and you can feel the suspense building. You are watching people being watched!
The story is well thought out and the different story lines and characters weave together beautifully to result in this emotional, but gripping, Thriller.
I love the settings and all the different characters (even the dislikeable ones!). It was interesting to see real people such as Himmler and Goering mentioned and featured in this story. I think that the setting of World War II in Italy is a brilliant choice and really brings this story to life. It is quite easy to imagine that this sort of story line did actually happen to people and you are constantly on the edge of your seat willing the characters to finally get to their happy ending!
At the end there is an epilogue so you get to know what happens to the main characters. The only thing I would say is that I would have liked to have known what happened to all the other characters. There were a couple of characters that I would have liked to have known what happened to them, especially after the War.
I highly recommend anyone reading this book, but especially fans of Thrillers or Historical Fiction novels.
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