Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Review: The Huntress by Kate Quinn

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Five years after the ending of WW11, how a former Soviet fighter pilot, a young American woman and a former British War Correspondent work together to find the Nazi war criminal known as Die Jägerin, The Huntress; to bring her to justice.

Ian Graham gave up writing after the end of The Nuremberg trials, instead, he works to track down war criminals from his office based in Vienna. Investigations into The Huntress, his obsession have so far drawn a blank, until his colleague Tony Rodomovsky has a new lead.

Jordan McBride was seventeen years old when her widowed father introduced her to the mysterious woman, who would become her step-mother. Born in Austria, Anneliese 'Anna' Weber and her young daughter were pleasant enough, but something about this woman didn't seem right. Interested in photography, Jordan spent her days taking photographs, which she then developed in her dark room. One photo of Anna, caught her in a different light, increasing her doubt about who Mrs Weber is.

Born in a house on the shore of Lake Baikal, Siberia, Nina Markova wanted to escape from her abusive, drunk father like her older siblings. After a chance meeting with a pilot who landed his plane, something she'd never seen before. Inspired, she decides to head to the nearest town, Irkutsk to find an air club. She wants to learn to fly, to escape as far west, beyond Moscow, never dreaming how far she would actually get.

Written from a triple point of view, including one which features the protagonist's back story, it was surprisingly easy for me to follow the narrative and keep focused the whole time. As someone who often struggled when too much information supplied at once, the author's writing style kept me focused and invested, so much so, it was hard to put this novel down.

Having previously enjoyed The Alice Network by Ms Quinn, I knew to expect a well-researched novel. Additionally, I enjoyed reading her author notes about where she sourced her inspiration for her characters and the liberties she took to create The Huntress. As the words and dialogue flowed effortlessly, I have no criticism, only admiration for how the narrative came together to create an insightful and thought-provoking novel set at a favourite time in history for me. The most intriguing aspect was learning about nachthexen, Night Witches; their role as female Soviet fighter-pilots.

After renewing my interest for historical novels and discovering writers like Kate Quinn, I'm very much looking forward to her future work and am already eagerly anticipating The Ribbons of Scarlet later in 2019.

***arc generously received courtesy of William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss+***

View all my reviews

(from Goodreads)

From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Alice Network, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.

British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear.