In Fischer’s (Pray for Us Sinners, 2013, etc.) historical thriller, a schoolteacher widowed in World War II becomes a liaison for a French patriot who, unbeknownst to her, is a Nazi spy.
When Nan Guthrie gets word that her husband, Nick, died in the Battle of Tarawa, she hopes to contribute to the war effort by enlisting in the Military Intelligence Service. But Lt. Col. Bertram Kelso, with close ties to the Office of Strategic Services, has other ideas for Nan. He wants her close to Frenchman Andre Le Valle, since Nan’s a dead ringer for Le Valle’s dead fiancee. Kelso tells Nan to retrieve info on French Resistance forces but fails to mention, quite intentionally, that Le Valle is one of Hitler’s most trusted agents. Meanwhile in the South Pacific, Nick wakes from his coma, misidentified as another officer. He goes AWOL and travels across the country to Washington, D.C., to find his wife, who’s apparently missing. Fischer’s novel solidifies its love/war theme in its opening: Nick, on Tarawa’s shore, recalls when he first met Nan, mere months before Pearl Harbor. Fischer quickly moves the story to Nan’s new gig, but the romantic prelude is effective, and Nick’s desperate search for Nan sears with dramatic intensity. The drama is further boosted by Le Valle’s genuine love for Nan, who may have reciprocal feelings as well. Everyone has a great deal at stake. Nan’s former boss, Lt. Carter Prescott, for example, complicates her predicament when, to make up for his prior mistreatment of Nan, he sets out to provoke some Nazis and prove that restaurateur Le Valle is shady. All of this happens against a backdrop of real-life events, and readers will immediately understand the importance of the bogus intel Nan feeds Le Valle—lest the Nazis learn the genuine date and location of D-Day.
Persuasive romance perfectly suited to an authentic WWII backdrop.