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Paris, 1945. Janine Simonian stands accused of supplying information to the Nazi occupying forces that led to the arrest and torture of several members of the French Resistance - and the brutal murder of her own husband. Fiercely patriotic, and the wife of a Jew, Janine had always been outspoken in her condemnation of the Nazis. Abwehr intelligence officer Gunter Mai judged her the unlikeliest of recruits for his network of informants, resistant to all the usual triggers...until the Gestapo's reign of terror intensifies, and her children are rounded up for deportation. A powerful tale of conscience and betrayal, as shocking as it is moving, posing uncomfortable questions about the priorities of personal and national loyalty in time of war.
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Reginald Hill is a native of Cumbria and a former resident of Yorkshire, the setting for his novels featuring Superintendent Dalziel and DCI Pascoe. Their appearances have won him numerous awards, including a CWA Gold Dagger and the Car-tier Diamond Dagger Lifetime Achievement Award. The Dalziel and Pascoe stories have also been adapted into a hugely popular BBC TV series.From Publishers Weekly:
First published in England in 1987, this novel departs from Hill's usual mystery oeuvre ( Ruling Passion ). With thoughtfulness and insight that call to mind le Carre, Hill reconsiders an aspect of the German occupation of France during WW II that many Frenchmen would prefer to forget--the collaboration. Set primarily in Paris, the novel follows the lives of Jean-Paul and Janine Simonian, he a Jew, she a boulanger 's daughter married against her parents' wishes. Upon his release from a military hospital after France's humiliating defeat in 1940, Jean-Paul joins the Resistance. For her part, Janine worries--about her two children and the husband who has become emotionally so dark and distant. Gunther Mai, an otherwise kindly German officer in the Abwehr , befriends Janine and uses her as a source of information on her husband's activities--a relationship that works well until he falls in love with her. What Hill portrays so successfully is the conflict between social and personal responsibility. Through a wonderful range of secondary characters, he skillfully characterizes the collaborator in his various guises--from the self-serving black marketeer to the loving mother and wife. Best of all, Hill captures the collapse of morality in occupied France.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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