This week’s BotW is Jane Thynne’s Black Roses – a Nazi Germany set spy thriller – and another example of why I need to get the to-read pile under control. Clara Vine’s mother is German and she heads to Berlin to find acting work at the famous Ufa studios. She gets drawn into a circle of high-ranking Nazi wives – and is soon recruited by British intelligence to report on the goings on in the elite.
Nazi Germany is possible one of my least favourite historical settings as a general rule. I like World War Two settings – but usually from the British side of the fence as anything involving Germany itself has potential to be tremendously depressing. But this has an interesting concept and is also book one in a series (more on this later) so I was fairly confident going in that the heroine would still be alive at the end of the book*!
Clara’s adventures are tense and atmospheric and Thynne paints a vivid picture of what it was like in Berlin in 1933. As I’ve mentioned, I don’t usually “do” Nazi Germany – and it’s a period of history that I’ve always managed to avoid having to study in any depth, so I can’t really pass comment on whether it all fits with the facts – but the historical note at the end was useful for clarifying some of the bits that I had thought were the most bizarre.
I mentioned at the top that this is another lesson in why I need to deal with the book backlog – and this is a particularly ridiculous example. I bought this on Kindle in October 2013 (!) and it’s been sitting in my unread folder forgotten about since then. In October this year I picked up book 2 in the series in Tesco and then picked out book 3 on NetGalley. When I came to update my Goodreads, I realised that I had book 1 and went back to read in order. I’m really glad that I liked it so much – as I already have the other two! And as I said, another example of why I need to get my to-read pile under control.
* One of my least favourite book tactics is the book which kills off the hero/heroine at the end. I’m not saying it isn’t a valid plot device, I’m just saying that, for me, nothing takes the shine off a book that I’ve enjoyed than flood of tears because a character that I liked has been killed off to shock/prove a point.