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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, surprising, very readable, atmospheric
I don't read spy thrillers. Not my kind of thing. But I love a good story which has fantastic detail, real atmosphere, and a narrative based on history that I know - or thought I knew. It's a book which has twists and turns in it which will keep you wanting more. The author manages to sway your sympathies too, all under the umbrella of a wartime environment when...
Published on 18 Feb. 2013 by BruntonTom

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historically weak
Disappointing attempt to hang a story upon well reported operations to support D Day landings in June, 1944. Geographical detail OK.
Published 12 months ago by Mr. G. Craft


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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, surprising, very readable, atmospheric, 18 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Best of Our Spies (Paperback)
I don't read spy thrillers. Not my kind of thing. But I love a good story which has fantastic detail, real atmosphere, and a narrative based on history that I know - or thought I knew. It's a book which has twists and turns in it which will keep you wanting more. The author manages to sway your sympathies too, all under the umbrella of a wartime environment when extraordinary things happened. Buy it if you like books that keep you reading into the wee small hours. This is a spy thriller I'm very glad I read.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling story of courage and love, 17 Jan. 2013
By 
Mrs. J. P. Keevill (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Best of Our Spies (Kindle Edition)
It is fascinating to see how the various plot lines in this novel are woven together into a compelling narrative that builds in urgency and impact as D-Day approaches and in the immediate aftermath of the landings. The book offers an insight into life in France at the time which not everyone will be familiar with. The author is not afraid to address some of the atrocities that went on during the war but it's done in a subtle and moving way, through the eyes of the main characters who are manipulated by those in power and swept along by events out of their control. I guarantee you won't be able to put it down - it certainly kept me reading into the wee small hours!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST OF OUR SPIES by ALEX GERLIS: Review by David Lowther, 12 July 2013
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This review is from: The Best of Our Spies (Paperback)
The Best of Our Spies is one of the finest spy stories that I've read in recent years. Alex Gerlis has set his story during the Second World War before, during and immediately after the D-Day landings of June 6th. 1944. The background is Plan Fortitude, the allied deception operation which attempted to mislead the Nazis into thinking that the cross channel invasion of Northern Europe would come via the Pas de Calais and not the beaches of Normandy.

The Best of Our Spies focuses on one aspect of the deception plan and introduces us to a fascinating and varied cast of characters. The hero is a young naval officer and the heroine a refugee from Northern France who is a trained nurse. Those who plan the operation include a kindly naval veteran of the First World War and a number of utterly ruthless British agents whose sole interest is in winning the war by whatever means necessary. On the other side are cunning but war weary Germans and desperate Nazis. The tale of espionage is exciting enough in itself but woven around it is a moving and convincing love story.

The plot is full of twists and turns and demands careful reading. More than once I found myself predicting what would happen next only to be proved totally wrong. The personalities of the main characters change as they become deeper and deeper involved in the manipulation of their spy masters. The dialogue is very convincing and wartime London exceptionally well-drawn and one gets a real sense of 'being there.' So too Northern France in the aftermath of the invasion where Gerlis paints a picture of chaos, tragedy, collaboration, revenge, relief and confusion and introduces us to a new set of characters; resisters, traitors, families and the bereaved.

The Best of Our Spies has an appropriately contemporary feel and, apart from one of two acceptable acts of violence, could have been written in 1945. The author blends a handful of real people into the story, interacting with the fictional characters. This device works very well and helps to lend credibility to the plot. The Best of Our Spies is extremely well-written, exciting and very satisfying. It's a brilliant must read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moves at a cracking pace!, 27 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Best of Our Spies (Paperback)
This novel builds up the tension from page one and never really lets up. It darts back and forth from France to the UK as the lives of double agents are revealed against the background of the Second World War and more specifically the imminent invasion of France by the Allies. There are numerous twists and turns along the way but at it's heart is a rather tender love story. The author has clearly put a lot of research into this first novel and that helps make the atmosphere seem truly authentic. I can't wait to read the next one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I spy a new talent...., 19 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Best of Our Spies (Kindle Edition)
Inform, educate, entertain. Now where have we heard that before? Of course: It's the ingrained mantra of a certain broadcasting corporation. Little surprise then that Alex Gerlis, late of that broadcasting parish, should tick all that mantra's boxes with his debut novel. A nice flow, crisp style and quite a few 'I didn't know that!' moments worked for me. I am no stranger to the subject or the locations so it should have been fairly straightforward to pick a few holes. But there was little opportunity for that as I was absorbed from start to finish. Would I have bought this book if I didn't know the author? Probably not, to be honest. But I'm very glad I did. Bet you will be, too.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly gripping tale, 4 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Best of Our Spies (Kindle Edition)
A truly gripping and very well written Second World War spy thriller in the tradition of Alan Furst. The main characters are strong and there's a clever and plausible plot that twists and turns through events that really did take place in the Second World War. `The Best of Our Spies' manages to convey the tense atmosphere of wartime Britain and of France during the occupation and at the time of its liberation. I was especially impressed by how well-researched this book is, yet at the same time it moves at a pace that kept me engaged from beginning to end.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read with an unusual angle on WWII, 3 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Best of Our Spies (Kindle Edition)
This novel has a gripping plot-line which has at its heart an interesting and unusual aspect of the second World War -- the Allied disinformation campaign about where exactly D-Day would occur.
Around this Gerlis has woven a credible and engaging plot which paints a series of very personal journeys while at the same time anchoring the story in the wider historical backdrop.
If you like spy stories and want a very well-researched tale this is a book for you.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 8 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Best of Our Spies (Kindle Edition)
Stay with this book. The gradual build-up is justified by the gripping, page-turning denouement. The fact that it is based on real facts makes it that much more exciting.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking good tale, 2 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Best of Our Spies (Kindle Edition)
I've read a number of WW2 spy novels and this is my favourite. Fantastically well researched with characters you really care about. As surprising an ending as possible from a historically based book. I can heartily recommend it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 31 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Best of Our Spies (Kindle Edition)
I struggled to put this book down - the whole way through the book.

I loved the twists and surprises - the attention to detail was great - am already looking forward to the next book
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The Best of Our Spies
The Best of Our Spies by Alex Gerlis
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