The Paris Agent by Kelly Rimmer

Reviewed by Ian Lipke

Kelly Rimmer has oftentimes set out to write a thriller that is simple of structure but more complex than the reader might expect. The current novel The Paris Agent tells the tale of two otherwise ordinary women who become spies in World War 2 France. There are thousands of books telling the story of espionage in war torn countries. They are of dubious quality in general terms, the consistent exception being author Kelly Rimmer.

The Paris Agent has a distinctive structure. It tells the story of a small number of SOE executives who are betrayed to the Germans by one of their own operatives. While there is nothing unusual in that, the twist appears in a 1970s girl – a decade many years later – attempting to show that the betrayer may well have been her father.

The book begins with the story of Fleur and Chloe, two ordinary women who were called up by the SOE for duty in France. It follows the usual lines of young women taking enormous risks with very little information or resources. Their way forward is hindered by the presence in their ranks of a double agent, who is causing chaos to their network. The girls are soon joined by Sophie and others.

This second world war story is then interrupted by Charlotte’s investigations in the 1970s and hereafter swings between the two timelines. Charlotte’s father, twenty-five years after the end of the war, is reflecting on the secret agent who saved his life when a mission went wrong during his years in occupied France. He never knew her real name nor whether she survived the war but his thinking is devoted towards identifying who she might have been. His daughter Charlotte, however, has developed a notion that he himself might have been a double agent. The two were at cross purposes.

The Paris Agent forms one of a series of books, unrelated in any way, except by the style and subject matter. The German Wife is a story of lover and family, The Warsaw Orphan is a heart stopping rendering of life resistance, survival and love in Nazi Occupied Poland, Truths I Never Told You is a suspenseful narrative that enthrals and moves, The Things We Cannot Say is an intense World War 2 story straddling the past and the present and Before I Let You Go is a heart-breaking story about families and how far they will go to save the ones they love. All of these examples fit the same style as The Paris Agent. Each is an investigation into the motives of the human heart in stressful situations.

Her characters are believable, their actions realistic and their motives are clear. The situations they found themselves in are true to the history of the time in which the story is set.

The Paris Agent


by Kelly Rimmer


ISBN: 978-0-73364-957-8

$34.99; 358 pp


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