The guardian of lies by Kate Furnivall
Simon and Schuster, 2019. ISBN: 9781471172328.
(Age: 16+) Historical fiction. Furnivall's novel is set in 1950s France during the Cold War. American air bases are being established around the country to protect Europe from the growing threat of the Soviet Union. France is divided between those who view the American presence as a necessary protection against the reach of Communism, and those who resent American capitalism and the development of nuclear weapons.
Wanting to follow in the path of her elder brother Andre, Eloise had applied to become a secret agent with both the French Intelligence Service and the American CIA but following rejection by both, she embarks on detective work in an agency run by Clarisse Favre. Eloise's detective skills are turned to her personal life after her faulty decisions see her brother crippled in a car smash and she learns that her father has sold part of their precious family property to the American air base in the south. The burning questions are: Who tried to kill her brother? And why would her father part with the land that he loves?
Returning to her home in the Camargue, Eloise is drawn into a tangled web where it becomes hard to work out who can be trusted and who is an enemy. Someone is leaking top secret information about the American secret weapons to Soviet Intelligence, the MGB. And someone is determined to stop Eloise from finding out what is going on. Caught in the lies and deception, there seems to be only one person she can turn to - her childhood friend Leon Roussell, now the local police officer, but how much can she tell him without endangering members of her family?
Eloise is a strong determined woman, extremely resourceful and well trained by her brother to consider the evidence . . . and then to also consider the impossible. But as she gradually uncovers the secrets, she knows that she herself is drawing closer and closer to danger.
Readers will find themselves carried along with the fast moving plot, wanting to know who is the spy and who the counter-spy, but also ultimately which world view one should trust.