Title: The Amber Shadows
Author: Lucy Ribchester
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
It's easy to forget that during war times that danger doesn't always come from the enemy. I think I've maybe taken for granted in historical fiction about either of the Great Wars that the enemy is usually clear and obvious. Lucy Ribchester does a superb job of reminding us that isn't always the case.
Not only are there spies to watch out for but also those who would be nefarious no matter what was happening around them.
I don't read lots of mystery books. Usually the ones I do have historical, sci-if or fantasy settings. So I will confess I'm easily fooled by a good mystery. And yet I'd like to think I'm not completely stupid (lol). So when I got towards the end of The Amber Shadows and realized I had gotten it all wrong, I was genuinely surprised. I believe this is because Ribchester has very persuasive writing. Each time I delved into the story I felt like I was in the mind of our lead gal and so believed what she believed; whilst she typed encrypted messages in an enigma calibrated typewriter. I won't lie, as much as Ribchester reminds us of how harsh and awful war times are (even for those not fighting on the front lines), it all held a little bit of magic for me. How exciting it must have been at times to decide the message that saves a ship, town or supply run from being bombed.
Yes I realize that is my very naive self falling into the trap of believing that another time besides my own might have been better. Let's face it, this is why so many of us read and wish to travel back in time or to dangerous unknown worlds; for the simple reason that it's not in the here and now.
I really don't want to say anything more about the content of the story as it might take away from the intrigue as it plays out.
I will say if you enjoy cryptic, coded, intrigue stories you are bound to like this one. But you're also likely to enjoy it if you like historical fiction in general. Ribchester does a good job of setting the scene of WWII whilst telling us a story that will make you wonder what is truth and what is deception.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.