Codename: Madeleine by Barnaby Jameson

A Mystic’s daughter flees Moscow on the eve of the Great War.

A French soldier lies wounded on the Western Front.

A German officer veers between loyalty and integrity.

An English courtesan reclines on a sea of books.

Each will make a journey that changes history.

The constellations will force the Mystic’s daughter to make an impossible choice. To remain at her harp as the shadow of the war looms again – or join the top-secret Special Operations Executive (SOE). Bābouli to her Sufi father, Madeleine to the Gestapo, a lone mission to Occupied Paris promises to be the most hazardous of World War Two.

Inspired by real events, Codename: Madeleine is the most unexpected spy story ever told. It teems with tigers, zeppelins, elephants, U-boats, angels, assassins, chessmen, cyanide, beetles, butterflies and Rumi. Revolving between Paris, London, Prague, India and Latin America, Codename: Madeleine is a kaleidoscope of love, war, music, betrayal, poetry and resistance.

My thoughts:

Thank you to Sofia Saghir of Midas PR and to Whitefox Publishing for the invitation to read this stunning debut novel by Barnaby Jameson. Regular readers of my book review blog will know that I regularly read historical fiction books set during World War One or Two. This book spans both wars and is based in part on the true story of the spies trying to defeat the Nazi Germans, including Noor Inayat Koor who was a radio operator in Paris in 1943, under the codename of Madeleine.

I’ve read many historical fiction books and this was one of the most beautifully written and emotional reads. Early in the book we meet a Sufi mystic, French soldier brothers, a German naval officer and a book loving English courtesan. I loved how the different strands of the story evolved and merged, in a way that reminded me of the storytelling of Anthony Doerr in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

This is much more than a traditional historical fiction novel and I’m pleased to see that this is the first in a series. The story is full of historical detail, love, music, poetry, friendship, courage, betrayal and death. I recommend that you spend a few days (this is a 500 page book) travelling back in time with debut novelist Barnaby Jameson to see why this became a five star read for me.

Author Bio:

Barnaby Jameson is a QC with expertise in counter-terrorism involving Neo-Nazi terrorist groups and Islamic State. He has been involved in some of the most notorious terrorist cases of the century including plots to overthrow governments, plots to assassinate MPs and terrorist bombings in the UK and overseas.  His work has brought him into contact with clandestine agencies around the globe. CODENAME: MADELEINE is Barnaby’s first book in The Resistance series.

My review copy
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By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum. Adopter of dogs.

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