Through A Glass Darkly
Author: J. C. Maetis
Genre: historical fiction, WW2
Through A Glass Darkly is a follow up from The Writer by J.C. Maetis. Since the book is an ARC, there is no cover for me to show you. But I have designed on myself for the purpose of my blog. Yes, I do not have skills in cover design. The story first sends me to Deya in Mallorca, the year is 1973. First I have the pleasure to meet Teresa Delma, a woman walking to a friend’s villa. Robert Graves is waiting for her with a friend: Jacob Bronowski. A brief introduction later, the story travels back to 1940 in Paris.
In Paris, there are people who want Hitler gone, the Jewish in particular feel threatened by his ideology and intent. We shall not dwell on the reasons, but focus on the action at hand. A failed assassination attempt shows that there is discord even among the rebels. The action scene makes me sweat a little before the scene before me changes to Edith Creutzen.
For Edith, the point of view becomes a first person POV. Since she is “I” in the book, Edith’s thoughts and images in her mind show up. This is interesting because she is the fortune teller Hitler visits in Paris. The story will shift between Edith and the rebels, but has more focus on the rebels at the begining.
The Author paints Edith as a real deal in Through The Glass Darkly, via the scenes in her looking glass. She sees visions and tells them as it is. But when you are dealing with Hitler, sometimes honesty is not the best policy. You wouldn’t like to the man, but if your prediction does not come true, you will be in trouble still.
No one is safe in Paris during 1940, and Through The Glass Darkly frequently hints at that fact. Put a foot wrong, saying the wrong things can get you shot. As our heroine, Edith finds out, even a smidgen of suspicion is bad news.
Her hero comes in the form of Stefan Hansel, a young SS Officer when Edith becomes a ‘personal adviser’ to the Führer. Initially, her guide and bodyguard, Stefan quickly becomes a close friend, then a little bit more. But love during times of war comes with a sacrifice, so their romance is quite forbidden for many reasons.
This book loves secrets. There’s subterfuge in every chapter; a twist in every story. The pace is fast in the way that involves action and revealing of hidden information. You might think you know who’s the spy, but when you find out you are wrong, mind blown. Of course, I am not a frequent reader of spy craft and intrigues, but I can appreciate the level of subterfuge that is crazy.
Hitler was a very suspicious man, and he was also a cold-blooded killer who is hellbent on conquering the world. But Edith has problems of her own. Staying in the Führer’s good gracious is one of them. It can be hard because we all know that the man was temperamental and dangerous.
Through A Glass Darkly is a book you need to immerse yourself in. I can talk about its story and struggles, but to be there watching people double crossing each other is something else. The action scenes are high adrenaline, and the romance is sweet and bitter. The biggest draw for me, is being able to witness the situation and feel the fear with the characters in the book.
We all know that World War 2 was a dark time for all, but this book is a timely reminder that hatred only brings more pain. The ending brings some closer, although I am not entirely surprised by it.
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