The Consummate Traitor
Author: Bonnie Toews
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011)
Binding: Paperback, 344 pages
Historical Fiction: World War II spy story. One woman betrayed, the other sacrificed in a chain reaction of double crosses that alters the outcome of World War II. Loyalty betrayed... love lost... secrets buried... inhumanity at its worst. Is forgiveness possible in the turmoil of such tragedy? On the eve of World War II, American journalist Lee Talbot witnesses Hitler’s experiment in “total war,” the carpet bombing of Guernica in northern Spain. It’s a preview of the horrors Nazi Germany will unleash if Hitler’s nuclear labs develop the atomic bomb first. Lee joins Churchill’s secret operation to sabotage Hitler’s project, but ends up babysitting the king of England’s cousin, Lady Grace Talbot, a gifted pianist who fancies herself in love with an SS officer. When Lady Grace’s parents die in a London bombing, she joins Lee’s team as a ‘pianist,’ transmitting coded messages to British covert missions in Nazi-held territory. Soon, both women learn that, in the secret world of spies, they can trust no one. In a tale rich with historical detail, what happens to these two women exposes a secret England wants buried forever. REVIEWS “Riveting . . .” Gayle Lynds, NY Times best-selling author of Book of Spies “Compelling, disturbing and brutally honest . . .” Vicki Hinze, award-winning author of Acts of Honor and Deadly Ties “Historical fiction at its best.” Robert Gandt, best-selling author of the Brad Maxwell military thrillers “A concise, fast-paced twister . . . must reading for fans of spy fiction.” Harriet Klausner, Midwest Books reviewer. “The reader will discover that there is no greater love than for a man, or woman, to lay his or her life down for a friend.” Rita Gerlach, author of the Historical Romance Surrender the Wind. “In The Consummate Traitor, Bonnie Toews delivers an edgy, espionage thriller in a beautiful story that haunts the reader long after the book is closed. ” Laurie Foston, author of The Magi Chronicles and Just in Time for You. “In this brilliant novel, Bonnie Toews explores the spy world’s murky twists and cunning treachery. Although there is plenty of intellectual intrigue, Toews doesn’t forget the spiritual nature of her characters.” J. Carson Black, author of The Shop, Darkness on the Edge of Town and The Dark Horse.
Bonnie Toews’ The Consummate Traitor is a gripping spy thriller set in occupied Germany during World War II. The British know that Hitler is working on an atomic bomb, and will use any and all of their espionage assets to prevent that from happening. Two women from very different backgrounds find themselves working together in Nazi occupied territory, but somewhere in their chain of command is a traitor, and they are left fighting for their lives as they struggle to complete their mission with the world hanging in the balance.
This book had a very interesting and unique plot, and there were twists and turns in seemingly every chapter which left me guessing until the end. There is plenty of action, and the characters for the most part are well developed and historically accurate. The author has a particular gift for setting up a scene and drawing the reader into the story; one scene in particular was so vivid that it haunted me for days after I read it. The story does span several years (from the late 1930’s through the end of World War II) in only 325 pages, but the author does a remarkable job at using the gaps in the story line to further character development. Throughout the story, the characters describe to each other what happened to them in the time periods not explicitly covered by the story, and in the end the timeline is quite complete and consistent.
Toews also does a commendable job of weaving scripture references and her Christian faith into the overall story without forcing the issue or preaching; a difficult line to walk but definitely done well in this book.
This story is not for the faint of heart; there is no profanity, but there is violence surrounding the Holocaust and several references to torture. Spy fans will enjoy it, as well as those who enjoy World War II historical fiction.
Reviewed by: Rob Ballister (2012)