The Girl who Fell From The Sky
by Simon Mawer
Another holiday read but this one was something of a let down.
The story is set in World War Two when Marian Sutro is recruited by the British Secret Service to work behind enemy lines in occupied France.
Ok - I am starting this post again as I fell asleep twice whilst writing the above two lines - literally! In my defence I had a lousy nights sleep and then a very busy day sailing down the west coast of St Lucia followed by an excellent Italian meal in one of the hotel restaurants. I guess sleep was inevitable.
So, back to the book.
Our heroine is recruited from the communications wing of the MOD and sent to Scotland for spy training, has her first sexual encounter but is then torn with angst about a previous unrequited love. Off she goes to France so recruit said unrequited love who happens to be a key nuclear physicist (like the Nazi's wouldn't have nobbled him already - right).
To my mind the plot chuggs along in a pretty pedestrian fashion with the real place being delivered when she is on the tun from the occupying forces across the streets of Paris. This section takes off, but by then you are 75% of the way through the book.
As for the twist in the tale - there is one and who but a complete idiot with a price on her head wouldn't take the opportunity to get on a plane and live to fight another day. Not this one it seems.
So why did I buy it in the first place? Because of the endorsement on the front cover:
"As good as le Carre. If you read one book this year make it this" Alan Massie. Scotsman.
Le Carre may specialise in spy thrillers but there the parallels end. That said, I find le Carre plots horribly complex so why am I complaining about the flimsy fabric behind this construction?