The Jossing Affair

Written by J. L. Oakley
Review by Laura Fahey

L. Oakley’s rich, satisfyingly atmospheric novel The Jossing Affair is set in the midst of the Second World War in Nazi-occupied Norway. A Norwegian named Tore Haugland, trained by British intelligence services, returns to Norway intent on creating a pocket of resistance centered on a west coast fishing village, with the aim of receiving smuggled arms and supplies from the British in defiance of Nazi rule. Haugland’s mission is complicated when he falls in love with a German widow and is later betrayed, seemingly by somebody he had come to trust.

Oakley juggles all these elements very smoothly, and although both her characters and her dialogue can at times verge on the melodramatic, her narrative is so sprawling and involving and intensely detailed that most readers will likely be as engrossed as I was.

First-rate WWII-era espionage fiction.