by Helen MacInnes

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More as before -- much more to be truthful -- with Poland this time as back-drop for a goliath of a tale of espionage, counterespionage and underground resistance. With credit, perhaps, for a full picture of the country under shellfire, siege, victimization and reprisal, there is the drawback that no story of this genre can maintain the high suspense of Above Suspicion through close to 700 pages of incident. The story revolves around Sheila, an English girl, visiting the Aleksanders in a small village outside of Warsaw -- overstaying, deliberately, when war is declared. She accepts -- uncertainly -- the German alias of Anna Braun as a secret agent. She falls in love with Adam, former Cavalry officer, who after the fall of Poland heads the guerrilla organisation of the underground. She lives through the brutal bombardment of Warsaw, sees the Aleksanders captured and killed. She is herself shadowed, baited by the Gestapo who are recurrently suspicious of her; she is doubted too by the Poles, and is no longer desirable as a secret agent when she has become too definite a quarry. But before leaving the country she marries Adam between guerrilla forays. A marketable enough tale, but one could wish the author had exercised a little restraint: It would be better if tightened up considerably.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1943
Publisher: Little, Brown