This riveting story begins in 1944 as four women are being transported by German guards to an unknown destination. They are spies. Members of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and their fate is also unknown. The dual timeline story switches to the year 1970 in Liverpool, England. Charlotte Ainsworth is mourning the loss of her mother. Her father Noah is also grieving his wife but is also starting to think back to his days during WWII and his activities as a spy during the war. It was a subject that was never discussed in their home. Noah is desperate to track down and formally thank Remy, a man who saved his life. Charlotte seeks the help of Harry Read, a professor who is an expert on the history of the SOE, the organization that trained and sent British spies to France to aid in the Resistance. She also is aided by Theo, a teacher who trained with Professor Read. Noah's story starts to be revealed with some information that he might have been hiding.
When the story switches back to wartime, the lives of Josie and Eloise are detailed from each woman's perspective. Josie proves to be a great asset to the SOE and her relationship with Noah develops beyond friendship. Eloise, who lost her husband during the war, is motivated to help make the world a better place for the benefit of her young son, who she left in the care of her mother. It becomes apparent that there is a counter agent within the organization putting their plans in jeopardy and their lives in grave danger.
Kelly Rimmer's historical works of fiction are not only well done because she writes so well but because she does such extensive research. The Paris Agent was inspired by the real-life stories of Violette Szabo and Diana Rowden. While not household names, they are two of the many heroic women who did important work during WWII. It is worth noting that since spies had code names along with their own names, I had to keep a pen and paper nearby so that I could keep track of the main characters. I normally have no problem sorting all the people out but for some reason, I needed a little help this time. I've read all of Rimmer's historical fiction books. Her 2019 The Things We Cannot Say remains my favorite but her latest is a very moving and powerful book that kept me glued. I recommend it.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: July 11, 2023.
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