Saturday, April 8, 2017
Book Review: In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen
Author: Rhys Bowen
Source: Little Bird Publicity/Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review
World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.
As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?
Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.
I will be honest - I don't normally read books that are set during the war. I'm a history buff, but there is something about WWI and WWII books that don't usually appeal to me. However, unlike other wartime setting books, I ate this one up!
I loved this book. I loved the characters, the plot, the mystery, all of it. Of course, the two English Setters helped a bit, as my beloved dog who passed away was a beautiful setter. Not that they were a major part in the book, just mentioned a few times. Anyway, I digress. I was prepared to not be overly wowed, so imagine my surprise when I couldn't put it down. I found it very readable, not overly taxing with battle scenes, or a plethora of exposition about the war itself. It begins with the finding of a soldier who had fallen from the sky, right into Farleigh Field, at the home of Lord Westerham and his family. His home has been appropriated by a regiment of soldiers, and the Sutton family occupies one wing. His five daughters are scattered here and there - Pamela, who works at Blectchley Park as a codebreaker, Margot, who is trapped in Paris, and then Diana, a restless 19 year old living at home, Phoebe, just 12, and finally Olivia, who is described as matronly, a mother, and whose husband is stationed in the Bahamas with the Duke of Windsor. Poor Olivia. The story centers mainly on Pamela Sutton, and her two childhood friends, Ben Cresswell, and Jeremy Prescott, and their various involvements in the war. There is intrigue, scandal, romance, mystery, and a dramatic finish! I am not sure if there will be a sequel but I am hoping that there will be - I would love to read more about these characters and their wartime exploits and heroics!
A little about the author:
Rhys Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of over thirty mystery novels. Her work includes the Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1900s New York City, and the Royal Spyness novels, featuring a minor royal in 1930s England, as well as the Constable Evenas mysteries about a police constable in contemporary Wales. Rhys’s works have won fourteen awards to date, including multiple Agatha, Anthony, and MacAvity awards. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she has fans from around the world, including the 12,000 who visit her Facebook page daily. She is a transplanted Brit who now divides her time between California and Arizona. Connect with her at rhysbowen.com.