My Name Is Eva

Written by Suzanne Goldring
Review by Waheed Rabbani

In 1943 London, young Evelyn Taylor-Clarke, a military services chauffeur, is grief-stricken upon learning of the death of her husband, Hugh, a British secret agent, somewhere in France. Furthermore, Evelyn is shocked upon hearing that Hugh and his group were betrayed, and their mission was deliberately set to fail to mislead the Germans. She learns that the person responsible for this double-cross is the commander, Colonel Robinson. Evelyn resolves to seek revenge. At the end of WWII, Evelyn learns of a unit set up in Germany to interrogate POWs, which is headed by the same Colonel Robinson. Evelyn transfers to that unit and pursues Robinson in Europe and London. Years later, when Evelyn is in a retirement home, her niece finds some old photographs and other items that may haunt and expose Evelyn’s past.

This historical novel spotlights more than the usual aspects of WWII. Instead of focusing on the battles and the progression of the armies, it concentrates more on the human aspects, particularly between men and women of the armed forces, the behavior of senior officers, and the brutal methods used to interrogate German POWs. Some of these techniques seem to be no better than those used by the Gestapo on Allied soldiers.

While written in the enjoyable language of the period, the plot is made needlessly difficult to follow due to the adoption of a frequently changing timeline. Consecutive chapters jump from the present to the distant past, to the recent events and back to the present. However, it’s indeed, as the cover says, “a gripping novel” that depicts the “terrible price for keeping a promise.” Highly recommended.