Dragonfly A novel

Leila Meacham, 1938-

Book - 2019

At the height of WWII, five idealistic young Americans receive a mysterious letter from the OSS, asking them if they are willing to fight for their country. The men and women from very different backgrounds--a Texan athlete with German roots, an upper-crust son of a French mother and a wealthy businessman, a dirt-poor Midwestern fly fisherman, an orphaned fashion designer, and a ravishingly beautiful female fencer -- all answer the call of duty, but each for a secret reason of his or her own. Th...ey bond immediately, in a group code-named Dragonfly. Thus begins a dramatic cat-and-mouse game, as the group seeks to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. But ... is everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spycraft?

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Subjects
Genres
War stories
Historical fiction
War fiction
Spy fiction
Published
New York : Grand Central Publishing 2019.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xi, 563 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781538732229
153873222X
Main Author
Leila Meacham, 1938- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Meacham, author of several best-selling historical novels set primarily in Texas (Titans, 2016), turns to Paris in 1942, where five Americans have been airlifted into France (Operation Dragonfly) to support the Resistance and gather intelligence on the Nazi war effort. The five, led by fashion-designer and artist Bridgette, each have their own assignments and are instructed to remain separate from one another, lest one is captured and, under torture, reveals information about the others. In an audacious plot twist, three of the five encounter two powerful Nazis who are plotting to end Hitler's reign; the Nazis realize that the three are spies but continue to feed them information that could damage Hitler, though the Americans are in the dark about what's happening. Gradually, though, the net closes as the Americans, working under the constant fear of imminent exposure (a perennial theme in Resistance fiction), begin to prompt interest in the wrong places. Meacham ratchets the suspense ever tighter, while providing fascinating backstory on the intrepid five as well as delivering a detail-rich portrait of Paris during the Occupation. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this fast-paced and enjoyable WWII espionage tale, Meacham (Roses) takes readers to 1942 Nazi-occupied Paris to follow five American spies as they attempt to gather information to assist Allied and French Resistance forces. Americans Brad, Bridgette, Bucky, Chris, and Victoria have been recruited as spies for the CIA's Office of Special Services. After undergoing rigorous training, the eclectic crew—a professional fencer, a fashion designer, a fly fisherman, the son of a wealthy businessman, and a Texan with German roots—meet for the first time in Paris. The spies, collectively called Dragonfly, find themselves in dangerous situations from the off; communicating in code, they must form their plans in secret as they attempt to blend in to a cold, starving, terrified Paris. Each takes up employment with potential collaborators, working as tutors, listening in at boarding houses, and chatting between casts of a fly-fishing reel for information to send back to the OSS. After Victoria is captured and the others fear their code may be broken, the Dragonfly mission comes apart and all members must fend for themselves. While the set up and ending are both thrilling, the five spies are separated throughout the middle. Their isolation, Meacham's close concentration on each character's particular struggles to survive in isolation, and the drawn-out foreshadowing that one of the spies will be shot slows the momentum leading to the gripping finale. Despite this, Meacham's nail-biting tale will please fans looking for an intricate story of spycraft and deception. (July) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Teamed together to infiltrate Nazi ranks in occupied Paris, five idealistic American spies from diverse backgrounds begin questioning who they can trust when one of their number is killed. By the best-selling author of Roses. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Teamed together to infiltrate Nazi ranks in occupied Paris, five idealistic American spies from diverse backgrounds begin questioning who they can trust when one of their number is killed.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Read the USA Today bestseller from the author of Roses, a "sumptuous, full-bodied, and emotional" novel about five young spies embedded among the highest Nazi ranks in occupied Paris (Adriana Trigiani, NYT bestselling author of Tony's Wife). At the height of World War II, a handful of idealistic young Americans receive a mysterious letter from the government, asking them if they are willing to fight for their country. The men and women from very different backgrounds -- a Texan athlete with German roots, an upper-crust son of a French mother and a wealthy businessman, a dirt-poor Midwestern fly fisherman, an orphaned fashion designer, and a ravishingly beautiful female fencer -- all answer the call of duty, but each for a secret reason of her or his own. They bond immediately, in a group code-named Dragonfly. Thus begins a dramatic cat-and-mouse game, as the group seeks to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. But is everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spycraft?