A Treachery of Spies by Manda Scott

A Treachery of Spies is an espionage thriller to rival the very best, a high stakes game of cat-and-mouse, played in the shadows, which will keep you guessing every step of the way.

A body has been found. The elderly victim’s identity has been cleverly obscured but one thing is clear: she has been killed in the manner of traitors to the Resistance in World War Two.

To find answers in the present, police inspector Inès Picaut must look to the past; to 1940s France, a time of sworn allegiances and broken promises, where the men and women of the Resistance fought for survival against Nazi invaders.

But, as Picaut soon discovers, there are those in the present whose futures depend on the past remaining buried, and who will kill to keep their secrets safe. Old fashioned espionage might be a thing of the past but treachery is as dangerous as ever.

A Treachery of Spies is a well-crafted fast-paced thriller. Much of the novel focusses on the exploits of a number of agents in France – French, English, and American – and their efforts to thwart the Nazis. Ms Scott writes with a clarity which opens up for us the supreme courage of the people who found themselves in such situations; she also describes in detail the time and place so that one can almost feel yourself there, struggling to survive in Occupied France.

As counter-point to this we have the 2018 investigation into the murder of an elderly woman which leads back to the individuals who had lived and fought beside each other in France without knowing that one amongst their number was a traitor. Who was the traitor? Why did they do it? And which, if any, of these old spies is responsible for the trail of death created to hide a dark secret…?

Ms Scott has conducted a great deal of research to provide authenticity to her story with many of her characters based on real people, from the infamous Klaus Barbie to the numerous agents whose biographies inspire many of the actions of the Resistance in her novel. Using the concept of a dual time-line the author is able, however, to take the actions of these agents one step further – how did the men and women of the SOE, the Maquis and the Jedburghs influence post-war spying and politics? What happened to many important Nazis who escaped at the end of the war, and what influence have they had in shaping the world in which we now live?

A Treachery Of Spies is a novel which will appeal to those interested in war stories, particularly the Second World War, and those who love a good thriller which keeps you guessing right to the end. If, like me, you enjoy both genres, then this book is for you.

A treachery of Spies can be found on Amazon

You can find out Manda Scott here

You can find more of my Recommended Reads here

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