Thursday 30 March 2023

Review - The War Pianist by Mandy Robotham

The War Pianist by Mandy Robotham
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Release date: 16 February 2023
Back cover blurb: Pianist: NOUN. Informal. A person who operates or controls a radio transmitter – often in code. July, 1940.   Blitz-ridden London: Marnie Fern’s life is torn apart when her grandfather is killed in an air raid. But once she discovers that he’d been working undercover as a radio operative – or Pianist – for the Dutch resistance, Marnie knows she must complete his mission – no matter the cost… Nazi-occupied Amsterdam: At the other end of the wireless, fellow pianist Corrie Bakker is caught in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse as she desperately tries to keep her loved ones out of the line of fire – even if it means sacrificing herself… Bound together by the invisible wires of their radios, the two women lead parallel lives in their home cities, as both are betrayed by those they trust the most. But when the Nazis close in on one of them, only the other can save her… Two cities. Two spies. But which woman survives?

I always love reading Mandy Robotham's novels, and her latest 'the War Pianist' is no exception.

During WWII the term pianist is something vastly different to what we understand now. It refers to a person who operates or controls a radio transmitter - often in code. Usually a member of a secret service operation - or the resistance.

Marnie Fern had no idea that her beloved grandfather was operating as a Pianist, until he is killed in an air raid and she finds the transmitting equipment amongst his things in his bomb destroyed tailors shop.

At first she fears the worst, wondering if he has betrayed her and his country. But then she is led to understand that he was working for the Dutch resistance, something she had no idea that anyone in Britain was involved in.

With a good job at the BBC, Marnie sees no reason to start risking her own life, until the BBC is bombed, and Marie realises that she can, and will do more to help with the war effort.

In Nazi occupied Amsterdam, Corrie Baker wonders why her fellow operator across the seas has gone quiet. Fearing the worst she tries to low lie, but she can't deal with not knowing what is happening to her family. 

If the resistance has been betrayed, she must discover by who.

Then the transmissions start to come through again, and she is hopeful but cautious for the future of the operation.

Though they don't know each other Corrie and Marnie are connected by more than the resistance, and both must fight for survival against the Nazi's evil regime.

When the unthinkable happens, one of them doesn't hesitate to attempt a rescue mission for the other, risking her own life in the process.

The War Pianist is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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