Ian Graham and Nina Markova are different from other people in their post-WWII world. In her words: “You – in war you hunt stories, in peace you hunt men like him…Me – in war I hunt Nazi to bomb, in peace I hunt Nazis to make pay.” During the war, Nina was a Soviet night bomber who, with her sisters, the Night Witches, completed sixteen hundred sorties over German territory. Ian’s brother, Seb, was murdered by a Nazi huntress, the woman both Ian and Nina are now pursuing.
This novel’s complex plot, spanning from 1937 through the end of 1950, is about the challenges riddling the hunters and hunted in Russia, England and America before, during and after WWII. All the characters are deftly depicted personalities. Ian, a war correspondent, had participated in every battle and conflict he covered. He’s a man with a conscience, carefully cognizant of not becoming as violent as the “enemy.” Nina is a wolverine and spitfire, breathing and fighting with determination, fierceness and a wild sense of humor. Jordan McBride is a relentlessly curious person whose questions break open their investigation.
Every character is superbly talented in assuming disguises and formulating dialogues that are deceptively captivating. Children experience beyond what their minds and souls can bear, but healing moments, like learning to play a violin and making new friends, partially heal the horrific mental remnants of war. Justice takes on different meanings to different people, but readers cannot help rooting for these characters that alternatively suffer and celebrate, in a strange way shaping unexpected futures. The Huntress is an awesome, must-read historical novel created by a supremely skilled author.