With a thrilling tale of espionage in France in World War II, Simon Mawer creates a young James Bond – this time a beautiful bilingual twenty year-old woman in Trapeze.

Marian Sutro, daughter of an Englishman and a French mother, is recruited into spy training by the British – a venture that seems exciting and glamorous to the young woman looking for something to do.  Her facility for language, guns, and intricate coding give her unlikely advantages in her new world of secrets and patriotism.

Mawer includes trademark descriptions of Paris and the surrounding countryside, as well as a few French sayings worth keeping:

“…the back of beyond…”

“…to live happily, live hidden…”

The tale includes heart stopping risks, a mad chase through the streets of Paris, a little romance, and informational tidbits about the Underground network and the creation of the atom bomb.  Like his novel The Glass Room, Trapeze manages to incorporate history into a suspenseful adventure.

Related Review:   The Glass Room