Novel set in WW2 FRANCE – guest review by Isobel Blackthorn
Time slip novel set on Guernsey (+ WIN a 2 night stay on the island!)
1st June 2018
The Betrayal by Anne Allen, a time slip novel set on Guernsey.
The Betrayal is no. 6 in the “Guernsey Novels”. It can easily be read as a stand-alone. A gentle novel that has at its heart the discovery of a possibly genuine Renoir.
Nigel Torode took over N and F Antiques in Contrée Mansell, and because he was developing a life impacting illness, his twin sister, Fiona, agreed to come and help him manage the business. However, right at the beginning of the novel he is found hanged. The police do not suspect foul play – perhaps his recent diagnosis has pushed him over the edge – but Fiona is not at all convinced and finds a private investigator to look into the situation more deeply.
Back in time to the island in 1940, WW2 has just ratcheted up and there is a risk of German invasion. Teresa and Leo feel they have no choice but to send Teresa and their little daughter to the mainland. Soon the Germans arrive and colonise the island, and it transpires Leo’s life is in danger.
Forward once again to 2011, Fiona discovers the suspected Renoir hidden away. Her mind races to the conclusion that someone must surely have known about it and perhaps even killed her brother for it. It is perfectly possible that it is indeed an original because the artist was known to have been on Guernsey in 1883. Fortunately Fiona is involved in the art world and can find ways to research the provenance. For inspiration and relaxation she takes herself off in the footsteps of the artist to Moulin Huet just to find some connection and relief from the upcoming funeral for her brother which she has had to arrange. At one point too she revisits Herm Shell Beach where she spent time as a child and finds herself once again delighted by life on the island.
The story of skulduggery, friendship groups, and Guernsey at the heart, makes for a good art mystery. It is interesting how the two stories gradually and dovetail. I was perhaps expecting one or two final twists in the tale as the story drew to its close.
Anne Allen does a great job of bringing the island to life and I discovered some nice insights into island life and scenery – there is free parking across Guernsey and the island has “fabulous scenery, beaches, loads of bars and restaurants”. The novel is a good shout out for the the island and I am sure VisitGuernsey will appreciate the publicity, especially with the recent film release of the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (a very good novel in the original print version).
Tina for the Tripfiction Team
Pop over to Anne Allen’s website and enter on this LINK (closes 30 June 2018):
- A two-night break at the gorgeous Hotel Ziggurat for two people.
- Aurigny return flights to Guernsey from the UK mainland.
- Go Guernsey bike hire.
- Signed copies of The Guernsey Novels.
- Marco Polo Guide to the Channel Islands courtesy of TripFiction.
- Local Guernsey produce in conjunction with Visit Guernsey.
You can buy all of the Guernsey Novels through our database
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And for more books set in around the Channel Islands, just access the TripFiction database
Over at the Telegraph you can find out 10 quirky things about GUERNSEY that you (probably) didn’t know…