I find it hard to know where to start with this wonderful book. The beautiful prose? The endearing characters? How about the in depth detail given of life in France in WWII? That or the utterly engrossing plot.
Manda Scott has always written incredible books, none quite as masterful as this though.
The story is a dual timeline, following Captain Ines Picaud in modern day France, as she investigates the death of an old lady, found dead in a car, shot twice in the chest and once in the head, her throat slashed, her tongue cut out.
After a short time, we discover the victim’s name is Sophie, and then the story really kicks off.
We are transported back to war time France, to Sophie, as she trains to become a British spy and drops back to her native country. Here she will model as a Nazi sympathiser, all the while frantically plotting their downfall.
I will not give away plot spoilers, but I will say that the sheer scale of the story is mind boggling. It is a tale of secrecy and treachery, mystery, suspense and frantic action. It is absolutely sublime, as a writer I cannot even begin to imagine how you could plot out a book so complicated, but that I guess, is why Manda Scott it one of the very best.
This is most certainly a story that I will one day revisit, and will probably never forget. I know it’s only February, but I’ll be immensely surprised if I read a better book this year.