A British nurse in WWI German-occupied Brussels, Evelyn Marche spends her days at the hospital and her nights working at a café… or so it seems. Eve’s most carefully guarded secret is that she also spends her nights carrying out dangerous missions as a spy for a Belgian resistance group.
When a plane crashes as she’s en route to a rendezvous, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and she is shocked to recognize the badly injured pilot as British RFC Captain Simon Forrester, her “dead” husband. She risks her life to conceal him from the Germans, but as the secrets between them grow and the danger mounts, can they still hope to make it out of Belgium alive?
Okay. First off… the cover is gorgeous. I absolutely love the cover. Kudos to Kathleen Lynch! It definitely made picking this book an easier choice. 😉
The second reason I picked this book was because it was about La Dame Blanche. That network has intrigued me ever since I first heard about it. It was composed of 30% female agents… something unheard of at the time and by the end of the war, its 1,300 agents gathered an estimated 70% of all military intelligence. Amazing or what?
High as the Heavens starts off well. Because of Edith Cavell’s (yeah, also look up her. Amazing woman!) work, Evelyn, also a British nurse, has to be extremely careful in her dealings with La Dame Blanche. It helps that she has an Iron Cross to make the soldiers trust her more. She brings home the information to her mother, who then codes the information into lace and sends it to the British. She’s playing with fire as her double-agent relationship with Major Reinhardt. To top it all off, members of her local resistance are being arrested because of, she thinks, a traitor in the network. But who?
And then her dead husband arrives.
Yes, the story starts off well.
However, I feel it stalls. I’m sure there are many people who wouldn’t agree with me, but it seems like more of the book is about Eve and Simon’s relationship than about La Dame Blanche or her other work. I can definitely see how having a resurrecting husband can be a little… interesting, but I picked it up to read about La Dame Blanche!
Other than that little hitch, I loved the book. The plot was amazing, the characters vivid, the traitor devastating, and the ending strong. I liked the peek into the world of La Dame Blanche, learning about the different ways that messages were sent and received, about the ingenuity of people and such. Eve’s mother used lace, Zoe used shopping lists. There were hollowed out broomsticks, hastily given messages passed from person to person. Somehow, they made it all the way to safe territory where they could be used for good.
If you like a bit of romance mixed together with the suspense of being an agent, definitely pick this book up. Hopefully, it’ll become a new favorite!
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. All views are my own.*