By Bonnie Toews
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 21, 2011)
Brief bio: As a journalist, Bonnie Toews has covered significant events such as the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Her eyewitness view contributes to the plight of children in war as a recurring theme through her novels. With hundreds of published articles and five business press awards in her portfolio, Bonnie currently advocates for better care and treatment of Canada’s wounded warriors and is a member of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy, Military Writers Society of America, American Authors Association and American Christian Fiction Writers. THE CONSUMMATE TRAITOR is her first novel in a trilogy about treason.
One woman is betrayed; the other, sacrificed. What happens to them triggers a chain reaction of double crosses that alters the outcome of World War II.
Lee Talbot, an American journalist, is in Guernica, northern Spain with Quinn Bergin on the day Hitler chooses to try his experiment ‘total war’ there. Devastated by the scenes of horror which unfold before her, she sends a graphic eyewitness account to London, where it is broadcast on the radio.
Back in London Sir Winston Churchill meets with his Director of the Secret Intelligence Organisation, Sir Fletcher McAlister and Lord Wynne Henry Radcliffe, as they build their spy network and watch Hitler carefully.
Undercover spies Lee and Quinn are in Vienna surreptitiously minding the lovely pianist Lady Grace, daughter of Lord Radcliffe as she wins the coveted Belvedere Medal; they are still there when Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) changes everything. That night Lee and Grace witness horrors which bond the young women from very different backgrounds together, and a close friendship develops.
England is at war and when tragedy strikes Grace’s life, she decides to work with Lee undercover in the desperate race to stop Hitler from make an atomic bomb, knowing that if he does so first, all is lost. What follows is a tale of love, intrigue and betrayal, as the two women and the people in their lives face unimaginable dangers, and hurdles, in the name of duty.
The secret life of the underground network, and spies, who risked their lives to help others escape the tyranny of Hitler in World War II, comes alive as we learn of the dangers they faced constantly, and the personal sacrifices they had to make.
The knowledge that this author has firsthand experience of wartime journalism comes as no surprise when reading this engrossing book. With her thorough research and attention to historical detail, I felt as if I was taking a peep into hitherto hidden war files, rather than reading a work of fiction.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, full of love, betrayal and intrigue, it has so many twists and turns it keeps the reader guessing right to the end.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe