2021 Reviews · historical fiction · new release · World War II

New Release Book Review: The Paris Collaborator by A.W. Hammond

Title: The Paris Collaborator

Author: A.W. Hammond

Published: May 4th 2021

Publisher: Echo Publishing

Pages: 320

Genres: Fiction, Historical

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

He’ll do anything to save her … even work for the enemy.

August, 1944. In German-occupied Paris, former schoolteacher Auguste Duchene has stumbled upon an unusual way to survive: he finds missing people. When he’s approached by the French Resistance to locate a missing priest – and a cache of stolen weapons – Duchene initially refuses. But the Resistance offer him no choice. Within hours, he’s also blackmailed by a powerful Nazi into searching for a German soldier who’s suspected of deserting.

To fail at either task will have deadly consequences for Duchene – and for his daughter Marienne.

So begins a frantic race against time. As forces close in on Paris, Duchene has only 48 hours to locate the missing priest and soldier, or lose the only person he loves…

Review:

‘And with the Americans now on French soil, it took a certain fatalism or willful ignorance to mark yourself out as a collaborator.’

Thriller author A.W. Hammond has turned his hand to historical fiction and produced a gripping wartime mystery tale of great merit. Full of suspense, intrigue, speculation and danger, this puzzling mystery unfolds at a fast pace. The Paris Collaborator is an entertaining read, set to a vividly portrayed wartime backdrop.

Situated in the year 1944, as the second world war draws to a close, The Paris Collaborator takes the reader into occupied France. We meet a former school teacher now investigator, a man named Auguste Duchene, who is charged with the difficult task of finding missing people during uncertain times. A challenging position, Auguste is sent on a mission by the French resistance to locate the whereabouts of a missing priest, along with a set of weapons that have gone missing. Soon after embarking on this hard going mission, Auguste finds he is at the mercy of an influential Nazi. This top ranking Nazi official issues the former schoolteacher with strict orders to locate a German solider, who is under suspicion for desertion. Auguste knows he must complete both tasks to their end as daughter’s life is on the line. Can Auguste find both the priest and missing German soldier?

As a seasoned fan of historical novels and World War II fiction, I was very keen to read A.W. Hammond’s The Paris Collaborator. I love nothing more than to discover a new author in the historical fiction field and an opportunity presented itself for me to connect with the writing of A.W. Hammond, thanks to The Paris Collaborator. This book offers an evocative and stimulating picture of the tail end of the war, from an original story angle.

I really appreciated the setting of The Paris Collaborator, both time period wise and location. Hammond looks at war ravaged Paris from a Resistance and Nazi occupied slant. It is clear that the author has put in hours upon hours of research to the location base of this novel. I felt the history, destruction, tension, decimation, uncertainty, fear, danger, restrictions and self-preservation. We see a country and city torn apart by war, divided in opinion, damaged physically and mentally. Hammond captures the darkness, despair and uncertainty of this time with a rich sense of understanding.

The characters featured in this novel are intriguing, colourful and interesting. I appreciated getting to know the lead, Auguste and his support cast. Each character, whether they be minor or major, good or bad, contribute to the overall direction of this fast-moving tale. I valued the authentic dialogue present in this novel, it flowed in a natural direction. I will stress that The Paris Collaborator is very quick in pace and full of action. Hammond’s novel will keep you on your toes throughout. Plenty of twists, surprises, revelations, tense moments and shocks are thrown at the reader. The Paris Collaborator travels to a solid conclusion and I appreciated the way in which this novel was wrapped up.

With a fascinating story angle, an enigmatic lead, a well-presented historical backdrop and an action packed narrative, The Paris Collaborator is a recommend read.

The Paris Collaborator by A.W. Hammond was published on 4th May 2021 by Echo Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Paris Collaborator, A.W. Hammond, visit here.

*Thanks extended to Echo Publishing for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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