Sunday, October 16, 2016

3 Stars - The Pursuit of Pearls by Jane Thynne

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Historical Fiction
Buy: AMZ

About the Book

Perfect for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, Robert Harris, and Susan Elia MacNeal, here is the next thrilling historical novel featuring Clara Vine, the British actress and special agent who glides through the upper echelons of Nazi society, covertly gathering key intelligence—and placing herself in mortal peril.

In the spring of 1939, the drums of war beat throughout Europe, but nowhere more ferociously than in Berlin. The film studio where Clara Vine works is churning out movies, but each day that she stays in Germany is more dangerous than the last. Spying on the private life of the Third Reich, passing secrets to contacts in British intelligence, falling into a passionate affair—any of these risky moves could get Clara shot. So she is wholly shaken when someone close to her is murdered instead. The victim is Lottie Franke, an aspiring costume designer and student at the prestigious Faith and Beauty finishing school that trains young women to become the wives of the Nazi elite. While the press considers Lottie’s death in the Grunewald forest the act of a lone madman, Clara uncovers deeper threads, tangled lines that seem to reach into the darkest depths of the Reich—and to a precious discovery that Hitler and his ruthless cohorts would kill for.


I enjoyed the story, but it took me a while to get into this one as opposed to Thynne's earlier book, The Scent of Secrets. 

Clara Vine, an actress concealing her Jewish identity in Nazi Germany, has been hand-picked by Leni Riefenstahl to star as the personification of the German spirit. One would make much of the choice, but Clara is pre-occupied with other things, namely the murder of a young "Faith and Beauty" woman and her extracurricular spying activities. She pines for her missing beau and dithers over a mission guaranteed to expose her, and after rubbing elbows with numerous Nazi elite manages to learn something that will change Europe, not for the better.

Again, I like the story, and I think I could like this series. I have the next book in possession, which takes the story into the actual war and I look forward to it. I think Scent was a more interesting story mainly because of the interaction between Clara and Eva Braun - I was more interested in Clara insinuating herself directly into danger zone, where here she kind of moved in and out of it.

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