An excellent read, but the ending was a letdown,
This review is from: The Girl Who Fell From The Sky (Paperback)
I have read William Boyd's Restless and thoroughly enjoyed it so came to Simon Mawer's The Girl Who Fell From The Sky to see if the novels compared. Publishers seem to have a fixation for putting female spies in red macs - the same image is on both novels - so not the most subtle clothing to choose but it probably catches the eye in a bookshop.
Marion Sutro is a young British/French girl who is recruited into the SOE and is parachuted into France. She comes across as rather cold and arrogant but those qualities serve her well in her task to lure a physicist to England, or did they? I won't give away any of the plot but the novel is very gripping.
There is a very tangible sense of tension, the way agents are constantly living on a knife edge with little sleep and the sense that they could be betrayed at any time and how a casual conversation could lead to arrest by the Gestapo. I've read that many of the female agents sent to France were very young - Marian is in her early 20s - and their life expectancy in the field was brief.
My only gripe with this novel is that the ending is so rushed. Yes, the reader knows how things will pan out but I felt that Mawer was in a rush to finish it and get it off the publisher. A final chapter would have been so much better and my feeling was, where is it?
This novel would make a good film - Restless by William Boyd was a two-part TV series - also featuring a female agent.