‘City Of Spies’ by Mara Timon


LISBON, 1943: When her cover is blown, SOE agent Elisabeth de Mornay flees Paris. Pursued by the Gestapo, she makes her way to neutral Lisbon, where Europe’s elite rub shoulders with diplomats, businessmen, smugglers, and spies. There she receives new orders – and a new identity.

Posing as wealthy French widow Solange Verin, Elisabeth must infiltrate a German espionage ring targeting Allied ships, before more British servicemen are killed.

The closer Elisabeth comes to discovering the truth, the greater the risk grows. With a German officer watching her every step, it will take all of Elisabeth’s resourcefulness and determination to complete her mission.

But in a city where no one is who they claim to be, who can she trust?

My Review

Those who know me well know that not only am I a book geek but I am also a history nerd with a special interest in stories set during both World Wars.  So you can probably understand why I was so excited about ‘City Of Spies’ by Mara Timon.  Let’s just say that I couldn’t wait and dived straight in.  Oh boy, was it a read and a half or what?  I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘City Of Spies’ but more about that in a bit.

I can’t say that I especially took to any of the characters but at the same time, I found that I cared about what happened to some of them.  Elizabeth de Mornay is with the Special Operations Executive and to say that she has been in some dangerous situations is a massive understatement.  She is one seriously brave, determined and at times stubborn young woman.  I found it interesting that despite her privileged upbringing, she still chooses to flirt with death as it were.  I can’t say that I especially warmed to her but at the same time I certainly admired her nerve and bravery.

It didn’t take me long to get into ‘City Of Spies’.  In fact the synopsis was enough to grab my attention and then the story just drew me in.  I was intrigued as to what was going to happen to Elizabeth and I felt compelled to keep reading to find out what happened to her.  The pages turned over rather quickly and during the more dramatic bits they turned so quickly that the page numbers seemed to blur into one.  I seemed to sprint through the latter half of the story and then all too quickly I had to bid farewell to the characters of this thrilling read.

‘City Of Spies’ is superbly written.  I was impressed with the quality of the story and of the storytelling.  I found it hard to believe that ‘City Of Spies’ was a debut novel as the writing style is so polished and confident.  The author has one of those writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with.  I loved the way in which the author told the story using such vivid and realistic descriptions.  I actually felt as though I was part of the story myself and I went through every experience, ordeal and emotion that Elizabeth went through.  I was gripped by the story from start to finish and on the edge of my seat throughout.

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘City Of Spies’ and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.  I will certainly be reading more of Mara’s work in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.

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