The Fragile Hour strikes the perfect balance between history, action and romance and, by examining the Norwegian resistance, looks at World War II from an unexpected perspective. The heroine, Anna, a member of the WRNS turned secret agent, is an honest and straightforward female character who takes on her role in the war with level-headed practicality, and has an unlimited amount of courage even though she is frequently out of her depth. Yet despite her talent as a secret agent, Anna remains an utterly accessible character, and readers are quick to care about her. Even during the most action-filled scenes Laker reminds us of Anna’s normality, and that her bravery is fuelled by no grand illusions but a simple desire to help those around her, and to contribute to the efforts of the Resistance. As a result, the plot – which, being spread over many months and locations, could easily have become tiresome – is enthralling. We eagerly, and anxiously, follow Anna wherever she goes, from lonely, snowy mountain ranges to the Norwegian town she grew up in, as her military sorties require. Indeed the plot never loses momentum despite Anna’s periods of isolation, and the novel succeeds in building in intrigue right up to the climactic final scenes that take place in the lavish Nazi quarters of a concentration camp. This is a novel that will be enjoyed by everyone, and is as enlightening as it is thrilling.