The Book Spy by Alan Hlad

Just when I think I can’t possibly find anything new in a WW11 novel, here comes Alan Hlad to prove me wrong.

It’s 1942 and Maria Alves is working with microfilm in the New York Public Library. She’s fluent in six languages and is anxious to do something vitally important to help the war effort in Europe. She is determined to serve in the OSS (Office of Strategic Services)

Maria is sent to Lisbon, Portugal and poses as an American official where she collects materials for the Library of Congress. She’s definitely become a spy. Exciting and yet oh-so dangerous.

Scanning the shelves of a local bookstore in Lisbon, she meets bookstore owner, Tiago Soares, who has an agenda of his own. His family is part Jewish and he’s risking life and limb to provide Jewish refugees with forged passports and visas. Then they can sail away to freedom in the U.S.

The character of Maria is based on a real double agent. The story comes from the real-life librarians recruited by the OSS.

The author’s note at the end of the novel will definitely supply you with juicy information that actually happened. This story kept me on the edge of my seat, feeling as if I were just a heartbeat away from destruction. Unputdownable.

Portugal was not the only country that stayed neutral during WW11. Add to the mix: Switzerland; Sweden; Ireland; Liechtenstein; Afghanistan; Latvia; Andorra; Lithuania; Yemen; and Estonia. And I’m sure I’ve missed one or two. What a list!

My physical review copy was provided by the Kensington Publishing Corporation in exchange for an honest review. I truly loved it! WW11 readers, you will rejoice.

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