Book review: City of Spies

By Mara Timon
Published by Zaffre

Synopsis: Lisbon, 1943. After escaping from Nazi-Occupied France, SOE agent Elisabeth de Mornay, codename Cecile, receives new orders: she must infiltrate high society in neutral Lisbon and find out who is leaking key information to the Germans about British troop movements. As Solange Verin, a French widow of independent means, she will be able to meet all the rich Europeans who have gathered in Lisbon to wait out the war. One of them is a traitor, and she must find out who before more British servicemen die. 

Complications arise when 'Solange' comes to the attention of German Abwehr officer Major Eduard Graf. As they get to know each other, she struggles to keep her lies close to the truth. 

But in a city that is filled with spies, how can she tell who is friend or foe? 

How did this book end up in my hands? I was given a digital review copy by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was it a page-turner? This is certainly a very compelling book and there are so many intriguing characters that – even when tired after a long day – I just wanted to keep going to find out what happened next.

Did the book meet my expectations? I started reading it without too many expectations. While I was interested in both the historical period and the location of the novel, I am not normally a fan of spies and political intrigue. I can now safely say that I am glad I picked this up as it both entertained me and gave me new knowledge. Surely there will be a sequel though? I am all for open endings but the last paragraph left me wanting a little more closure. Unless, as I’m hoping, there’s more to come!

Three words to describe it. Atmospheric. Well-researched. Fascinating.

Do I like the cover? I love love love the cover. I’m not normally drawn to novels about war and spies so when I read the title I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this at all. Then I saw the cover and there was no going back!

Have I read any other books by the same author? This is the author’s debut novel and I will make sure I keep an eye on what comes next.

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