Book review: Night Flight to Paris

31 Jul 2019 / 11:33 H.

AUTHOR David Gilman has come out with a spy thriller set mainly in Paris during World War II.

The Germans have occupied France. The Resistance in Paris is on the run with the Nazis hot on its tail.

With Allied intelligence in a mess, it needs to send someone to Paris urgently to pick up the pieces and complete the mission to locate an agent hunted by the Germans.

This agent has information that could change the course of the war.

Harry Mitchell is a mathematician and codebreaker at Bletchley Park. He used to live in Paris before the war. When the Germans swept into the city in 1941, Mitchell had to flee Paris immediately, leaving behind his wife and daughter who are now in the hands of the Gestapo.

When he is picked for the mission in Paris, Mitchell is determined to get his family back at all cost.

As a likeable, courageous and ruthless protagonist, Mitchell is also resourceful and a survivalist.

For much of the time, he operates literally in the dark, forming his own cell of Resistance fighters out of strangers, knowing that any one of them could turn traitor, and yet manages to draw them together with his charm.

Ultimately, Mitchell is a spy, where his whole life in France is built on secrets and lies and he holds it all together with his cunning and genius.

There are other characters in the story who are wonderfully portrayed by Gilman, especially a female radio operator whose courage is extraordinary.

The story is gripping, emotionally-engaging, and terrifying at times. It flows seamlessly, creating an authentic feel of wartime Paris and making the reader root for Mitchell and his group of Resistance fighters. The twists are plenty and the pacing is excellent.

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