The Traitor’s Smile

Written by Patricia Elliott
Review by Liz Allenby

The Traitor’s Smile is Patricia Elliott’s sequel to The Pale Assassin, featuring the wily and adventurous Eugenie de Boncoeur, who battles corrupt forces during the French Revolution. Eugenie’s newest adventure casts her in the coastal town of Deal, England, a refugee of the Revolution, at the home of her strong-willed cousin Hetta. Her budding relationship with the young Frenchman, Julien de Fortin, appears in jeopardy as he strikes up a close friendship with Hetta. Eugenie’s old admirer, Guy Deschamps, finds her in Deal, and enchants her. Little does she know that Guy acts on behalf of Raoul Goullet, the pale assassin, to whom she was betrothed in France against her will. She finds out that her brother, Armand, has been captured by revolutionary forces and is headed to the guillotine. Soon after, Julien disappears to France, and both Hetta and Eugenie fear his arrest as a Royalist.

The Traitor’s Smile never fails in its use of period detail and historical accuracy. Elliott conveys the plight of the individual versus the larger maniacal wave under Robespierre in Paris during the Revolution. The reader shares in the desperation and fear, yet gains an understanding of the clever plots enacted for survival during this bloody time. This is an entertaining, instructive read for both the young and older adult audience.