Fly the Storm
This action-packed story of the wartime adventures of Blanche Longhurst, a WW2 pilot engaged to deliver Spitfires from factories to air bases, has much to recommend it. It is reminiscent of the BBC series The Secret Army, first screened decades ago on television. Set mainly in rural France, the novel follows impetuous aviatrix Blanche from her first mistaken landing in France, where she is interrogated and put under house arrest, and later used as a spy by the French Resistance, helping to smuggle rescued British airmen back to England. In the course of her intrigues she is obliged to fraternise with many top-ranking officers of the Luftwaffe, some of whom she detests, while others ... yes, pretty Blanche is never short of admirers, not only among the enemy but the airmen she nurses. A further amorous complication involves her English fiancé, missing and presumed dead. Stevenson adroitly handles the transitions between war and love, excitement and romance.
I enjoyed this book so much that it seems churlish to mention its long explanatory speeches - especially by the cell leader Madame Cazalet - where polished prose and unlikely dialogue prevail. Nevertheless, a bold and thrilling caper through occupied France.