The Blurb (from Goodreads):
Discover a brilliant story of love, danger, courage and betrayal, from the internationally bestselling author of The Survivors.
1953, the South of France. The fragile peace between the West and Soviet Russia hangs on a knife edge. And one family has been torn apart by secrets and conflicting allegiances.
Eloïse Caussade is a courageous young Frenchwoman, raised on a bull farm near Arles in the Camargue. She idolises her older brother, André, and when he leaves to become an Intelligence Officer working for the CIA in Paris to help protect France, she soon follows him. Having exchanged the strict confines of her father's farm for a life of freedom in Paris, her world comes alive.
But everything changes when André is injured - a direct result of Eloise's actions. Unable to work, André returns to his father’s farm, but Eloïse’s sense of guilt and responsibility for his injuries sets her on the trail of the person who attempted to kill him.
Eloïse finds her hometown in a state of unrest and conflict. Those who are angry at the construction of the American airbase nearby, with its lethal nuclear armaments, confront those who support it, and anger flares into violence, stirred up by Soviet agents. Throughout all this unrest, Eloïse is still relentlessly hunting down the man who betrayed her brother and his country, and she is learning to look at those she loves and at herself with different eyes. She no longer knows who she can trust. Who is working for Soviet Intelligence and who is not? And what side do her own family lie on?
I really enjoy Kate Furnivall’s books – they are a potent mix of intrigue, adventure and romance, usually set during the Second World War. This one is set a little later – in 1953, during the Cold War – and since I’m not as interested in that historical period, I didn’t find it quite as gripping and suspenseful as other books of hers I have read. The setting, however, made up for that – the wild marshes of the Carmargue, in the south of France, a place I have always wanted to visit.
The book follows the adventures of a young woman named Eloïse. She has always adored her older brother, and seeks to emulate him when he becomes an Intelligence Officer working for the CIA in Paris. However, a small misjudgement leaves her brother crippled and bitter, and Eloïse torn apart by guilt and regret. She determines to find out who was responsible for trying to kill them, and ends up in a tangle of lies and half-truths that undermines all she though she knew about herself and her family.
An enjoyable page-turner.
You might also like to read my review of The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell: