Friday, May 13, 2016

Book Review: The Pursuit of Pearls

The Pursuit of Pearls (Berlin #4)Author: Jane Thynne
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Series: Berlin #4

Perfect for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, Robert Harris, and Susan Elia MacNeal, here is the next thrilling historical novel featuring Clara Vine, the British actress and special agent who glides through the upper echelons of Nazi society, covertly gathering key intelligence—and placing herself in mortal peril.
In the spring of 1939, the drums of war beat throughout Europe, but nowhere more ferociously than in Berlin. The film studio where Clara Vine works is churning out movies, but each day that she stays in Germany is more dangerous than the last. Spying on the private life of the Third Reich, passing secrets to contacts in British intelligence, falling into a passionate affair—any of these risky moves could get Clara shot. So she is wholly shaken when someone close to her is murdered instead. The victim is Lottie Franke, an aspiring costume designer and student at the prestigious Faith and Beauty finishing school that trains young women to become the wives of the Nazi elite. While the press considers Lottie’s death in the Grunewald forest the act of a lone madman, Clara uncovers deeper threads, tangled lines that seem to reach into the darkest depths of the Reich—and to a precious discovery that Hitler and his ruthless cohorts would kill for.

And she guessed, whatever this meeting was about, it would certainly be no party.

The Fuhrer’s fiftieth birthday had been a moment of excitement, a firework flash against an ever darkening horizon.

She might as well have proposed flying to the moon.

“I hear Elizabeth Arden’s Velvet Red is his absolute favorite.”

This book is such a beautiful story from start to finish. The words are so eloquent and the language just flows swiftly off the page. I am such a huge fan of books set in WWII Berlin that I was unable to put the book down; it killed me to be away from the characters for more than a few hours. I tried to read as slowly as I could muster in order to savor every last word. Clara Vine is a German actress who is secretly working for the British Intelligence Agency in order to uncover the Nazi Party and their deepest secrets and plans. The portrayal of Hitler and Nazi Germany is what kept me so enthralled with my reading. I imagine that everything on these pages was exactly how it was in 1939 Berlin. It is obvious that Thynne did extensive research into everything WWII related. This book shows the hatred that the Nazi party inflicted upon many and how they punished those who spoke out against them.

The Pursuit of Pearls is everything you want in a good book. It is blindingly obvious that Jane Thynne would make a great conversationalist. I found myself having to stop reading and just sit and ponder over the many beautiful words that she strung together as she was telling this story. Another of my favorite pieces about Thynne’s writing is the fact that she intertwines real people from history into her pages. We see appearances by Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, and a young John F. Kennedy in this book. She makes this world that is far in the past seem so real as if it is happening all over again all around you. I did not realize that this book was part of a series when I sat down to read it, and I must say that it was pleasant to read thinking it was a standalone novel. It is actually the fourth book in a series, so I have some reading to catch up on!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Ballantine Books in exchange for my honest review***

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