A Treachery of Spies (by Manda Scott)

A Treachery of Spies
Manda Scott
Published: August 2018

This novel has tremendous potential and comes highly recommended by Lee Child and Simon Mayo. The premise is indeed interesting; there are two threads: one set in the last months of World War II in the Jura area, and the other in 2018 following murders in Orleans and investigated by Captain Picaut. In the finale full of suspense, the threads are cleverly drawn together.

A Treachery of Spies (by Manda Scott)Early in the novel, the training of wartime agents is enlightening, and the use of ciphers challenging. A la Dan Brown, ciphers are integral to the plot, and their use clever. The behaviour of the Nazis in the Jura is appaling. The interrogation techniques are graphically described.

Captain Picaut begins to unravel the murders in Orleans and discovers how the wartime activities are behind the murders. Throw in the CIA and other government agencies plus a traitor in the midst of the French Resistance and you have a complex plot.

Herein lies a problem, many characters are introduced early in both threads and I read the book over a couple of weeks.  I found it difficult to remember all the characters and their relationships! The plot is convoluted and some of the action is difficult to follow. Some of the dialogue is uninspired.

Overall, an interesting scenario with a thrilling denouement. Personally, I would like the Editor to earn their fee! Enjoyable but with reservations.

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