A Game of Lies
In this third book in a series, journalist Hannah Vogel, wanted by the Nazis, returns to Berlin, ostensibly to cover the 1936 Olympic Games but really to meet with her aged mentor. He’s promised to hand over to her evidence that will convince the world that the Nazis must be stopped. Traveling under a pseudonym, she’s staying with her partner in spying, SS officer Lars Lang – who seems to be in love with her and is definitely drinking too much, affecting their working relationship and potentially imperiling their safety.
There are other problems: Her face is well known in the reporting community, and if she’s recognized, she’ll be arrested. Her mentor dies in her arms, seemingly poisoned, minutes after they connect. She doesn’t trust Lars. The complications multiply as Hannah travels from one unwise and exposed rendezvous to another. This provides suspense since Hannah is always so certain of her abilities to discern whether she’s being followed. This reader doubted it.
Cantrell ties up the story’s loose ends; she has done good research, and her writing is an easy, fluid read. Hannah, however, was an annoying heroine for me. She foolishly needed to be saved by Lars from the start, and yet always insisted on taking the next seemingly unnecessary risk, wisecracking all the way. Her perky defiance felt American, like a mix of Nancy Drew and Scarlett O’Hara. Not bad, but not European.
This is the second book I’ve read in the past months by a talented young American author, featuring a youthful and brash (or perhaps immature and argumentative) heroine fighting the Nazis. For fans of plot-driven World War II thrillers and chick lit combined.