In the flamboyant Twenties, Englishman William Grover-Williams and Frenchman Robert Benoist were fierce rivals racing their elegant Bugattis on the glittering European race circuits.
Not only is the World Championship in their sights, but they have both fallen for the sensuous charms of the extravagantly beautiful Eve Aubicq.
But when war breaks out, everything changes. Paris is in the iron-grip of German occupation and Robert and William join the Special Operations Executive to help the French Resistance undermine the brutal occupying regime.
Their missions involve utmost courage and daring in the face of the horrors of war.
Based on a true story of British covert activity and the French Resistance during the Second World War, this is a gripping novel of heroism, self-sacrifice, love and betrayal.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
- Publication Date: 04/11/2002
- Category: Thriller / suspense
- ISBN: 9780747268734
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by vegetarianflautist
It took me a while to get into this book, and I found the beginning rather slow. But once it got into the proper French Resistance stuff, I really enjoyed it, and am glad I persevered.
Review by PilgrimJess
"with gear changes so smooth as to be almost sensual,precise,yet delicate."Last year I read Ryan's After Midnight and although not completely entralled by it was at least willing to give him another go.In this book Englishman William Grover-Williams and Frenchman Robert Benoist are successful motor racing drivers,they are fierce rivals not only on the track but off it over the affections of the beautiful Eve Aubicq in flambouyant 1920s France. Eventually both become drivers for Bugatti. When WWII starts Grover-Williams joins the SOE to help the French Resistance undermine the vicious invading Nazis. He is returned to France where he recruits Benoist to help in the fight. All seems pretty implausible right? Well actually the story is based on true life.The early part of the book concentrates on the main protagonists racing around the tracks of Europe and the glamourous lifestyle that goes with it. We see the decadent Paris and they meey various 'celebrities' of the day. During the war we see how Paris falls from decadence to desperation as the occupiers become more and more brutal and life for the local populace becomes much harsher.Despite the atmospheric depiction of wartime Paris the war section leaves a bit to be desired in that there is a lack of real action and daring-do but then this is a book more about love,friendship,betrayal and bravery in the face of adversity rather than just an out and out war story. In particular Williams incarceration was a little flat IMHO. Having read After Midnight I found the ending a little predictable but as no one really knows what happened to Williams that is OK.Overall Ryan mixes fact with fiction in quite an imaginative way and I certainly enjoyed using Wikipedis etc to read the background information on the main characters real life afterwards.Like the quote about a Bugatti at the top of this review I thought that Ryan handled the gear changes rather well, using flashbacks from 2001, constantly making me want to turn the page over. An enjoyable read.