I got the Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards, free from NetGalley for and Honest Review.

 

The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards, is a novel set in wartime Paris, during the first half of 1944, shortly before the allied invasion of France in June of that year. The book tells the story of  Genevieve Dumont, other wise known as The Black Swan of Paris, a French singer who is loved by the German occupiers. Genevieve’s Manager Max, however is a British agent, who met her in Casablanca, shortly after France had fallen to the Germans in 1944, eventually, telling her what he did and since then They both have worked with the resistance networks around Europe, using her fame to move easily through security to pass on messages.

Genevieve all so has a past, which she has kept hidden from not only from Max but herself as well. Then two things happen close together, she rescues a Jewish baby from a German raid, just before the babies mum get shot. In addition to this French Resistance fighter is captured by the Germans, who not only knows about where the allied invasion will happen but is closely connected to Genevieve’s past. This leads to a race to free the captured resistance fighter before she tells the Germans under torture what she knows, it may reunite Genevieve with her own family.

Karen Robards, has written much more than a wartime thriller, which gives an insight into what it was like to live under occupation as the allied invasion of France comes closer. The pressure on the occupiers have put on the locals, to find out when and where the allies plan to invade Europe. The dangerous double lives that the resistance members, had to live. The writer all so talks about how the normal French citizens have only just have enough to eat, and are at risk of both being used as hostages by the Germans and being shot, or even the danger of being bombed and killed by the allied bombers.

The main story may be about the rescue of a French Resistance fighter, but the novel, is also a story of family reunions and forgiveness not only of Relations but of yourself as well.

As the book got to the end it started to remind me of an Alistair MacLean, novel and film, however if the author has read the book or seen the film then, it seemed to this reader as tribute to the work.

All in all Karen Robards has written a well thought out and researched wartime novel, which evolves around not only the French Resistance but also the bond between family members, which makes The Black Swan of Paris a really good read.

 

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