- 04 Nov 18
Teutonic Thwarting Thriller
London during the blitz. Amy Strallen’s Mayfair Marriage Bureau is a growing concern -business being driven by fear more than anything else. Jack Hoste makes enquiries about Amy’s old friend, Marita, claiming to be a tax man with a refund to pay out. Hoste saves Amy’s life during a German raid, but back at his flat she finds an iron cross - is Jack working for Berlin?
Quinn's cracking novel was inspired by the true story of 'Jack King' - a codename - who convinced Nazi sympathisers in England that he had Berlin's ear and could offer the opportunity to help secure a German victory. The character of Marita, whose vehement anti-semitism may stem from her German father's undoing at the hands of the establishment, proves particularly determined to bring Blighty down.
The author paints a gripping picture of a city trying to carry on as normal under extreme circumstances. Paranoia is rife but people still long for a personal connection. Hoste’s well drawn character is hard to read, as any agent of espionage should be, and as we learn more about him, including an incident from his past that may well be his undoing, the action starts to get going, complete with an attempt on Churchill's life and a dodgy Ulster man.
The plot welcomely recalls one of those black and white wartime movies - Mrs Miniver or Went The Day Well? - that used to turn up on the telly on a Sunday afternoon. You'll find the pages turning faster as you approach the tale's end.