Conspiracy of Lies
Conspiracy of Lies: Reviews
Standard tales of Second World War women agents and resistance heroines resonate with courage, glamour, toughness and nobility in face of implacable, arrogant enemies. We know who are the good guys and the bad guys or gals. The storylines are straightforward, heroic and exciting to read.
Not so, Conspiracy of Lies. Complex, ambiguous, and full of surprises and twists. There is no doubt that Claire Bouchard is a courageous heroine, tough as tack at times, but simultaneously warm-hearted and self-doubting. And she has the great gift of love.
We first see her in old age as a rather nice Home Counties lady, albeit with a fairly sharp tongue on occasion. She grieves for her daughter’s hurt after the latter’s divorce, but is unstinting in supporting her. Their mutual love and respect is obvious, but Sarah is concerned when her mother suffers a heart attack.
Claire’s journey to northern France to confront the events that led to the attack reveals hidden secrets, not only about her wartime work, but a forbidden love. It also unpeels the hidden layers that she has so carefully built over her personality since the war.
Kathryn Gauci has obviously done her research on France, the grim reality of life there during the German presence, the fluidity of the relations between occupiers and occupied. The period detail is a pleasure to read; I loved the references to Eva’s disregard of Third Reich strictures on German women’s clothing!
The pace is sometimes measured, other times punctuated by scenes of intensity and action. I closed my Kindle with reluctance each evening and found it was after midnight each time. Beware, this story will grip you.
The ebook was well-formatted with an evocative, outstanding cover. In all, an extremely satisfying read.
© Jessica Brown
5***** By Susi Koornstraon December 26, 2017
This was a very exciting book taking place in WWII, my favorite genre. The story is a good one and kept me going to the end.
5***** Helen Hollick‘s review Jan 03, 2018
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
“I closed my Kindle with reluctance each evening and found it was after midnight each time. Beware, this story will grip you.”
5***** Review for Conspiracy of Lies on Goodreads by Diane Jan 10, 2018
I love this story! Thank you Kathryn Gauci for such an emotional and dangerous journey as we follow the life, love and bravery of Claire Bouchard in war torn France. Readers who loved The Nightingale, In Falling Snow and The Girl You Left Behind will certainly love this book too. I totally recommend this story. I have read this book as an ebook but have now purchased a print copy to add to my collection of favourites.
Review By Pauline Barclay – Founder of Chill with a Book Awards
Format: Kindle Edition
Conspiracy of Lies by Kathryn Gauci has received a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award.
“What a remarkable story of love and courage and bravery. I didn’t want to put it down.”
“Well written and emotional.”
“Excellent story, and obviously took a lot of research, which I appreciate. The plot had me on my toes: I was surprised at every turn, never suspecting the twists and turns.”
This is one of the best WWII novels I have read in a long time. The author has clearly done her research and the depiction of both everyday life in Occupied France and the Resistance are credible. The main character, Claire Bouchard, who has terrible choices to make, is totally believable and I found myself rooting for her all the way. Even the less sympathetic characters are well portrayed.
A pacy and convincing read, this book will stay with me for some time to come.
Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Reader’s Favourite
“Conspiracy of Lies” by Kathryn Gauci is a historical novel with a powerful political setting against the backdrop of the turbulent period of WWII. It is 1940 and the Germans are making their entry into France. Claire Bouchard escapes to England where she’ll stay for two years, but she gets recruited as a spy by the Special Operations Executive and sent back to France, now occupied by German troops. She works undercover as a teacher in Brittany.
A chance meeting leads to a friendship with the wife of a top German official, a friendship that poses many dangers for her. Determined to protect the lives of her people, she sets out on the path of duplicity, becoming the mistress of the Gestapo Commandant. Will this affair allow her to glean information, and how long can she continue the affair before she is unmasked?
Kathryn Gauci has clearly established herself as the mistress of the historical romance genre, crafting a story with characters that are memorable. Claire Bouchard is a solid character and readers will want to follow her, worried for her, fearing for her life as though she were someone they knew in real life.
The writing is impeccable and delightful. Readers will enjoy this espionage thriller, in a powerful setting with slippery paths leading into the enemy’s lair, and suspense that grips the reader by the throat.
“Conspiracy of Lies” is a page-turner, masterfully woven. Your heartbeat will quicken with every page you turn. A wonderful read, indeed!<
Reviewed By Marta Tandori for Readers’ Favorite
For a hauntingly evocative work of historical fiction, look no further than Conspiracy of Lies by Kathryn Gauci. A dejected forty-eight-year-old Sarah Carrington goes to visit her elderly mother, Claire Bradshaw, after her divorce from her husband, Alistair, has become official. Somewhat shocked at her mother’s candor over her dissolved union, Sarah leaves her a short while later with a pot of tea and a letter from France. When she arrives home, she finds a voicemail from her mother’s gardener, informing her that Claire has had another heart attack shortly after Sarah had left. Despite her advanced age, Claire is healthy and manages to pull through, but announces that she wants to take a short vacation to France and wants Sarah to accompany her. Thinking that a few days in Paris in her mother’s company will be good for both of them, Sarah agrees, but quickly discovers that her mother has another agenda in mind when they arrive at an old cottage in Brittany. It is there that Claire haltingly begins the complicated story of her past…
Haunting, evocative and so beautifully written, Conspiracy of Lies will transport you back in history to a time that was ugly and violent, marred by acts and atrocities against humanity that will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Gauci does not try to rewrite history into something that it wasn’t. She shows us the uglier side of war in order for us to understand and appreciate the reason why Claire and her fellow agents put their lives on the line for what they believed in. And while it’s evident that the book is well researched, the strength of Gauci’s story is clearly in her characterizations. Young Claire is a formidable protagonist, both brave and resourceful. It’s also her innate ability to adjust to any situation that keeps her alive during the war. The individuals who inhabit and invade Claire’s life are there for a reason. Conspiracy of Lies is part history lesson, part love story and one hundred percent entertaining. The author’s attention to detail is evident, from both a historical aspect to that of her main characters. When writing, it’s never easy to alternate between past and present, yet Gauci makes the transitions seamlessly. For romantics and history buffs alike, Conspiracy of Lies is one of those books that is sure to stay with you long after the last page has been read.
Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite
In 2001 a letter causes Claire Bradshaw to suffer a heart attack. Recently divorced daughter Claire decides not to let sleeping dogs lie and starts investigating Claire’s past.
Mother and daughter eventually go on holiday to France together where Claire tells her story within the French resistance from 1939 onwards: Love, torn loyalties, resistance work, lies, cover lies, betrayal and personal sacrifices.
Gauci does a marvellous job at depicting the personal within the context of the wider picture, the immense risks taken by individuals for the greater good, the complexity of the resistance operations and the dangers of that particular area of WW2 (Brittany).
Plenty of fascinating historical facts and family dramas are woven into this complex story; a very clever plot that comes to a stunning denouement.
Moving, eye-opening and very impressive.
Conspiracy of Lies amazing spy thriller set in World War 2 France. As I started reading the book I really thought I had the ending figured out but I was actually wrong! The story takes you up and down emotionally. I felt like I was there. The ending was bittersweet and had me thinking about the book all day.
Like her previous book The Embroiderer, Conspiracy of Lies was full of passion, romance and heartbreak. My only regret is that I didn’t have time to finish the book sooner. Thank you again for a beautiful story! Can’t wait for the next.
The love story is both unusual and mesmerizing, and I quickly felt involved myself, with a myriad of worries and hopes about how it would all end.
France in wartime is presented with a haunting realism that kept me reading on, unable to put the book down until the end. There are passages which make you feel as though danger is on your own doorstep, and some details are horrific. But all this brings the book wonderfully alive, and I strongly recommend it.
Goodreads. & Amazon UK
I often finish a book of modern fiction feeling it was a good read but I rarely feel a book is outstanding. After a gentle beginning this book really develops and I put it into the same class as Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and it deserves to be as well read. In the summer of 1943 on a stormy night Claire Bouchard slipped into, or rather was hurled against the rocks of the coast of Northern France and so began the story of an exceptionally brave woman. The prologue and first couple of chapters hold the reader’s attention but after a re-reading of these after finishing the book nothing suggests to the reader that they should have been able to predict plot against the background of the Second World War where the outcome is much documented. Every page seems to come as a surprise, every page is a historical depiction of the lives of the French resistance; sometimes a relief and delight often horror filled accounts with suspense. Through all this is intense romance. It is also historically fascinating and would make a wonderful drama or movie.
Format: Kindle Edition
The very beginning pulled you in to loving the two main characters in spite of horrors of World War Two. After several weeks I still morn the end of this book. Well done Kathryn Gauci
By Yvonne B.
Format: Kindle Edition Amazon UK
Couldn’t put it down, had to pace myself because I didn’t want it to end.
(Kindle Edition) Amazon UK
Enjoyed as much as the first book ‘The Embroider’ great characters, a real page turner