This is the third of the Alan Massie detective books sets in occupied France during World War Two. I have read them all buying them each year at the Borders Book Festival. I was really looking forward to this one and saved it until I got back from my holiday. As I knew I would be I struggled when I got home with the return to routines and reality after probably the best family holiday we have ever had on Harris.
Now I know immersing yourself in World War Two is not for everyone. But I do love a well written historical novel and I knew Alan Massie would deliver. In addition I have waited some time to find out what happens to Inspector Lannes and his family.
In this book Inspector Lannes is trying to solve a murder of a woman found dead and naked in her bedroom. Seems a simple pre war murder at first and then he discovers there is more to it than he first thought and that the resistance is also involved which means that the German Occupiers also want to know what is happening.
The plot on this book was not the key reason why I enjoyed this book. For me it was the way that Alan Massie in fiction form brought France in World War Two to life. You see life in occupied France from all angles and points of view. From those who collaborated with the Germans. To those who were part of De Gaulle’s resistance. To those who were part of the communist resistance. And for those who like Lannes wanted to survive with his family and make it through. Who in 1943 are starting to believe that maybe just maybe France will get through this without being permanently part of Nazi Germany. And the French are just beginning to realise that something is awful is happening to the Jewish community.
I have enjoyed all of these books so far as they have taken me through from 1940 France to 1943. I look forward to the next one which takes us to the end of the war and the consequences for everyone collaborators, resistance fighters and ordinary families who dared to hope that one day France would be free again. Let’s hope its out to buy as a treat at the 2015 Borders Book Festival.