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The War Photographers by SL Beaumont

SL Beaumont is a New Zealand writer and her latest novel brings together two powerful stories from WWII and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

In 1943, Mae Webster is a young woman working in the top-secret codebreaking centre at Bletchley Park. Her life changes forever when she meets and falls in love with Jack Knight a New Zealand war photographer. But tragedy occurs when Jack’s photographs seem to reveal a double agent, who will do anything to stop being identified.

In 1989, Rachel Talbot, Mae’s feisty granddaughter, is working as a photographer for a news organisation, but when she learns from her grandmother that her grandfather was murdered during the Second World War, she goes in search of his killer, a Stasi officer, as East German unrest is escalating. It’s not long before Rachel is in the thick of the Cold War boiling over and in a very dangerous position; even with the help of a charismatic activist she has met in East Berlin, her life could be in danger…

The War Photographer is a page-turning read that brings together two remarkable stories, with two memorable characters centre-stage. The work done by men and women at Bletchley Park is fascinating, and the author has done a superb job recreating the clandestine work they did, which, from many accounts, probably cut the war in Europe by at least two years. The other remarkable story is the fall of the Berlin Wall, and in this section of the novel, we get an insider’s front-row seat to this extraordinary historic event. A must-read for anyone who enjoys a well-researched historical novel.

Reviewer: Karen McMillan




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