A War of Flowers (Clara Vine 3)
A War of Flowers is the next in the series of the Clara Vine espionage thrillers. In my previous review of The Winter Garden, I could not praise Jane Thynne highly enough. This book, however, just may be even better than its predecessor.
Clara’s nephew, Eric, is disturbed by the disappearance of a woman while on a cruise, and Clara promises Eric she will get to the bottom of it. However, she has a mission to complete – to befriend Eva Braun and report any interesting information to British intelligence. She needs all her training and her powers of subterfuge, while fighting against her own feelings for the man she rejected five years before. In doing her duty for her country, she unravels the mystery surrounding Eric’s missing lady, who holds the most important piece of intelligence of all.
The author’s painstaking research of Nazi Berlin and of pre-war Paris rests so easily with her fiction here, that one can readily imagine being among the men and women of the Third Reich, and living the lives of the spies in British Intelligence. It is lovely to see secondary characters drawn in as much detail as the primary ones, and this really helps to pull together the various strands of the plot and tie this fiction to the historical events which permeate it. What I love especially about this book is the tension between Clara’s own internal and external conflicts, until they converge and are played out to their inevitable ends.
This is a superb spy story, a subtle romance, and a book that holds history a ready captive within its pages. I thoroughly recommend it, and look forward immensely to Clara Vine’s next mission.