Woman in the Shadows (Clara Vine)

Written by Jane Thynne

Clara Vine is an actress, working in Germany, but she hides a deep secret. She is an undercover British Intelligence agent in a Berlin where everything and everyone is in political and real danger. No one can be trusted, and the only way to protect those you love is to tell them nothing. When a girl attending Berlin’s bride school for prospective SS officers’ wives is murdered, Clara becomes embroiled in a situation that not only affects her safety and those whom she is close to, but also affects those at the very top of the political ladder, and some will do anything to ensure that secrets remain just that.

This, Jane Thynne’s fifth novel, is a gripping and fast-paced historical spy thriller, yet it also manages to incorporate the most tender and revealing of moments, and a dangerous love story that I hope runs the course of the trilogy. The superbly written tense plot and Woman in the Shadowsbelievable characters are only matched by the incredible, extensive and painstaking research that has gone into producing this novel. It is impossible not to feel as the characters do – enveloped and indeed oppressed and overpowered by the pre-war German society the author captures throughout this book.

I was delighted to find the first chapter of the second Clara Vine novel at the end of this book. I, for one, cannot wait to read the sequel to the bittersweet ending to this story so far. I have no hesitation in recommending this novel to any avid reader of historical fiction set in or around World War II. If you like your history to concentrate on both the larger picture and the minutiae, then this is the book for you.