Kate Quinn comes to the blog today with a story focused on the aftermath and consequences of World War II in
After the war several groups were dispatched from the allies to bring war criminals to justice, everyone knows of Nuremberg and the trials for the Nazis, but what I hadn’t known, before this book, was that Russians were also being sought, most peculiarly women from the 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber regiment – women running combat bombing missions targeting Germany during the war. Brutal times and even more shockingly, brutal women, highlighted by the search for The Huntress, responsible for many horrible crimes including leading 6 Jewish children and one escaped POW into a cabin in the woods, feeding them before murdering them, and moving on. She’d disappeared during the war, and the story is of the people hunting her. Ian and Tony along with Ian’s wife Nina, a former member of the Taman Guards are hunting the woman named ‘The Huntress” all gather in Boston, where they meet Jordan – a young woman who wants to be a photojournalist and is intrigued with the allied hunters’ quest.
Four people ostensibly working together with a singular purpose, the story is told in three points of view. Jordan and Ian are more ‘current” to the actual hunt in the 1950’s, with Ian’s search being highly personal as his brother was killed by this self-same huntress during her spree. Nina’s point of view, as a member of the Taman Guards has multiple reasons to want the Huntress captured, preferably dead, and her story is ‘real time’ in the war years, spanning the years between 37 and 44. Each of the stories are tension filled – either with the actual hunt, or the reader wondering what will befall each character next, and the dialogue feels plausible, while the factual information shared all fit together to make a cohesive package, and it was fascinating to find these bits of history that I hadn’t known before.
What emerges here is classic Quinn, with the well-defined characters, each a mix of self-serving and looking at the ‘bigger picture’, with descriptions and some over-dramatization, as well as the mystery surrounding the identity of “The Huntress” did dance with overplaying a hand, and the tension often fell off as description took precedence over action and revelations. It wasn’t enough to frustrate me overmuch, but the inconsistency in pacing and tension did make this more a four than a five star read. But – I never knew much of Russia’s wartime force or their use of women in combat, and while intrinsically I know that war breeds beastly behavior, it was all the more shocking when relayed by and performed by a woman, apparently our baser instincts are not limited to the males of the species.
Title: The Huntress
Author: Kate Quinn
Genre: European History, Historical Fiction, Mystery Elements, Post World War II
Published by: William Morrow
Published on: 26 February, 2019
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 18 Hours
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From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Alice Network, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.
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.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.