In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive. British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it. Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear. (From Goodreads)
I loved reading this one! A great blend of action, intrigue and romance complete with a cast of likable characters. Each one with their story to tell and it’s told well. For some background information it would help to read up on the subject of the Night Witches and their exploits during World War II (which is a fascinating subject on its’ own)
Of all the stories to read, Nina’s naturally, is the most interesting. She’s a wild child, does her own thing and doesn’t care about norms, conventions, and rules. She does her own thing but joins up with her squad not because of the love of her land and country but because she loves to fly. It’s her passion and it shows. I love reading about Nina because of her free spirited attitude and her drive. It’s what keeps her going.
The plot is free flowing and the chapters goes back and forth time-wise, and changes perspective depending on the character. Besides Nina, Jordan’s point of view is also interesting. She’s also got an independent streak in her and it’s nice to see her go on her own path based on her decisions. It’s unheard of back then in the day (we’re talking about 1950’s here) so it’s nice to read.
The writing is excellent and it grabs your attention from page one. I rather wish there was a small glossary to see what Nina says in Russian (although I’m sure it’s rather colorful language) but other than that small bit, the characters are engaging, and it’s nice how they all come together in the last third of the book.
The Author’s Note is also good for explaining what she’s done historical speaking wise. If you are stickler for history perhaps this isn’t for you – it’s more character and story driven. Still an engrossing read and greatly recommended!
I give it a 10 out of 10
Thank you William Morrow/Harper Collins for the Review copy!