Monday, 1 March 2021

The Secret of the Grand Hotel duLac by Kathryn Gauci

shortlisted for book of the month



Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon CA
Amazon AU
Goodreads

Fictional Drama
1940s WWII
France

"February 1944. Preparations for the D-Day invasion are well advanced. When contact with Belvedere, one of the Resistance networks in the Jura region of Eastern France, is lost, Elizabeth Maxwell, is sent back to the region to find the head of the network, her husband Guy Maxwell. It soon becomes clear that the network has been betrayed. An RAF airdrop of supplies was ambushed by the Gestapo, and many members of the Resistance have been killed. Surrounded on all sides by the brutal Gestapo and the French Milice, and under constant danger of betrayal, Elizabeth must unmask the traitor in their midst, find her husband, and help him to rebuild Belvedere in time for SOE operations in support of D-Day."

This is an outstanding book. The author has certainly done her research! While many authors stick to online research and reading around their subjects, Ms Gauci travelled all the way from her home in Australia to pay an extended visit to the Jura region of France. 

The storyline is as strong as anything I’ve ever read. We have the Resistance, who had to operate under the ever-present threat of discovery by the Gestapo or their complicit compatriots, the Milice. We have women sleeping with the enemy in order to collect vital information, incurring the hatred and contempt of their friends and neighbours, and we have a spy that must be uncovered – a traitor within their resistance cell. The story has all these elements in spades. But the heart of the story beats with the unquenchable love of one brave woman on a quest to find and rescue her injured husband. 

Five resounding stars!

Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds 

© J. J. Toner
 e-version reviewed

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