Hedda by Peter Haden is the second in a trilogy, this one focusing on a Polish-German woman recruited to work for British Intelligence during World War II. Colonel Peter Haden was a professional soldier for several decades and a successful businessman.
- 457 pages
- Publisher : The Book Guild Ltd
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 191560351X
This is a good, standalone book with an interesting female protagonist. I previously enjoyed Jan, but if I didn’t know this was the second in a trilogy, I probably wouldn’t have guessed.
The story is intricate and interesting. There is a large cast of characters with somewhat strange names (“Manners”?) which, at times, I found difficult to keep straight. It seemed that the author wanted to incorporate many historical elements in the book and jammed them in instead of seamlessly integrating them.
From my reading about Bletchley Park, I know that it wasn’t easy to get to work there, or play hookie. The ladies working there were always stressed and under threat of certain death if they even whisper a word of what they do. I find it hard to believe that Hedda just “got a job there”. The other historical misstep which bothered me is how the French Resistance introduced themselves with their real names, which from my understanding they would never do, especially to a stranger they just met. I think there could have been a better way to introduce characters, or better yet, have fewer.
Nevertheless, Hedda by Peter Haden is still an enjoyable historical fiction read. The story is intelligent, the main characters are intriguing, and the narrative is grounded in the history and attitudes of the time. Col. Haden has deep knowledge of how bureaucracy works, and how to get around it which, for me, certainly added a level of credibility to the novel.
Hedda has managed to survive the Nazi occupation and a stint with the Polish Partisans. She managed to get to England and was recruited to the intelligence services due to her excellent knowledge of languages.
Soon, Hedda volunteers for a dangerous mission, to go back into the lion’s den and work as a high-level secretary for the German embassy in occupied Paris. During her dangerous assignment, Hedda must use her wits to stay undercover while attempting to send top-secret information back to England.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer:I got this book for free
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