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  • Location: Paris, London

The English Agent

The English Agent

Why a Booktrail?

WW2: Wartime London and Paris have more shadows than most….

  • ISBN: 978-1471150579
  • Genre: Historical, legal/political, Spy story

What you need to know before your trail

Edie feels utterly disillusioned with life in wartime London. She’s been through a traumatic experience in the Blitz, and so when she gets the chance of working with the Secret Operations Executive (SOE) helping the resistance in Paris, she decides that this is going to be her fresh start. She’s given the codename ‘Yvette’, and then parachuted into France where she is met by the two other members of her SOE cell. But the problem is that this new world offers her no guarantee of who she can trust…

Back in London, Vera desperately needs to be made a UK citizen to erase the secrets of her past. Working at the foreign office in charge of agents presents an opportunity for blackmail. Life gets very tricky however when she loses contact with one agent in the field, codenamed Yvette…

Travel Guide

London in war time:

This is a changed city in wartime. Where hotels such as the Savoy and the Northumberland Hotel are little more than secret letterboxes for hidden messages. Where the shadows of the bombed out streets can often meet traps. Vera feels the pressure of her work not to mention her alien status. For this is a very uncertain time now – more so than at other times.

The National Gallery

This seems to be the only place in London where Vera feels safe. “coming in here, Vera always felt as if she were entering a palace, or a castle of some sort with Nelson on hits column like an oversized sentry at the gate”

Churchill War Rooms

Secret underground headquarters where Prime Minister Winston Churchill lived and worked during WWII. This would be a great place to visit in order to experience more of the hidden WW2

Paris in war time:

Imagine the song ‘Au clair de la lune’ being the song that warns you that the detection van is coming. That you could be in danger of being caught sending morse code, secret signals out to other members. You are given a code name, a transmitter and told to guard them with your life.

L’Eglise de la Madeleine

L’Eglise de la Madeleine dominated the centre of the square, as big as three aircraft hangars, surrounded by the black cars that spun endlessly round, as if trying to cocoon it in  petrol fumes. There is a room in theLucas Carton restaurant there when Edie heads to as she’s been told that in a room above the restaurant is where other members of the cell will be waiting.

The Gare du Nord

The Gare du Nord was as vast and cavenous as she remembered, a chaos of echoing noise and jostling crowds” Even though Edie remembers coming her with her mother in 1939, she is shocked at the changed city. To calm her nerves she puts herself back in that time, thinks she is just going shopping when really she could be walking into extreme danger.

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

Fascinating. Clever to use the alternating views of two women in very different war times roles as I was in both Paris and London at the same time seeing events unfold from both sides of the fence so to speak. I do think this might make things a bit tricky for reading on a kindle however as it does flit back and forth quite rapidly but as the story builds you get to really appreciate why it does this.

The story was quite amazing. I’v read war time stories before and particularly those with the SOE’s in Paris but this felt very real and I was close to every event which unfolded. The omnipresent danger and the underlying threats permeated everything that took place where I started to second guess even the most banal of events or utterances. Guess this was really what happened in war time though – for who could  you trust? The short sentences and short chapters added to this – feeling of secret covert news.

I really  – is enjoy the word? these stories about women doing remarkable things in times of war. Things they were not expected or even thought capable of doing. It gives a better understanding of how complex and chaotic war really was – and that’s an understatement.

I’ve not read Gunner Girl and despite this being the sequel, it’s a standalone as I didn’t feel I’d missed out on anything. I will however go and get Gunner Girl now based on this book!

Booktrail Boarding Pass: The English Agent

Author/Guide: Clare Harvey  Destination: Paris, London  Departure Time: WW2

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