Morning all!  Today I’m absolutely delighted to be on the blog tour for City of Spies by Mara Timon, a fast-paced and brilliant WWII spy thriller with a fantastic protagonist and exciting plot….WHAT A DEBUT!

book blurb & info

The stunning debut from the new name to watch in espionage thrillers. For fans of Charlotte Philby and The Bletchley Circle, this is perfect Sunday night drama.

LISBON, 1943: When her cover is blown, SOE agent Elisabeth de Mornay flees Paris. Pursued by the Gestapo, she makes her way to neutral Lisbon, where Europe’s elite rub shoulders with diplomats, businessmen, smugglers, and spies. There she receives new orders – and a new identity.

Posing as wealthy French widow Solange Verin, Elisabeth must infiltrate a German espionage ring targeting Allied ships, before more British servicemen are killed.

The closer Elisabeth comes to discovering the truth, the greater the risk grows. With a German officer watching her every step, it will take all of Elisabeth’s resourcefulness and determination to complete her mission.

But in a city where no one is who they claim to be, who can she trust?

Published by: Zaffre on 17th September 2020

Formats available: Paperback, Audiobook & eBook

Purchase Links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

my thoughts

Wow! This is an action packed, fast paced spy thriller and I loved every second of it.  With an amazing feisty female protagonist, this book will put you in the heart of Lisbon during WWII and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Elisabeth is such a brilliant character.  I loved everything about her.  She’s brave but has a vulnerable side, she will do whatever it takes for the people she cares about and for her country, and she really does put herself into some dangerous situations.  I connected with her from the very beginning, and enjoyed every heart stopping moment that she took me on.  But it’s not just her – the other characters in this are all brilliant too.  I don’t want to say too much about any of them because I want you to experience the full intrigue when you read this, but just know that you will love so many of them, and detest more than a few!

The fact that this is set in neutral Lisbon was eye opening and brilliant.  You’d think a neutral country would be exactly that – neutral…..but there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes, and Lisbon was the perfect setting for the City of Spies.  Timon, having been to Lisbon, does a wonderful job of immersing you into the glamorous City and fully submerges you into the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style, told from Elisabeth’s point of view.  It was easy and enjoyable to read, and the style easily made me feel like I was in the 1940’s.  The action is incredible – there is always something going on, whether that’s a full on fight or Elisabeth off investigating and finding information.  You honestly won’t want to put this down for a minute.  And the ending……I literally had a ‘what!’ moment and didn’t want it to end.  I’m just so happy there will be another book so I can catch up with this amazing heroine.

And finally, the other thing worth noting, and I found added a fantastic amount of added value, was the character list at the beginning of the story which tells you which characters are historically accurate; as well as the historical notes at the end which fills the reader in on what really did happen.  If you’re a history fan like me, this made such a difference.

Overall, an absolutely stunning and intense debut.  If you’re looking for your next action packed thriller/spy thriller/historical fiction novel then you need to check this out.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  100% recommended by me – I can’t wait to read the next one!



about the author

Raised in New York Mara Timon moved to the UK almost 20 years ago; and fell in love with London and the way it melds the old and the new.  Growing up with one parent fascinated with literature and the other with history, she started writing from an early age, although it wasn’t until a programme on the BBC caught her interest, and one ‘what if’ led to another, and another, and her first book began to take shape.

City of Spies is her debut novel.

Where to find Mara online: Website ~ Twitter

tour info

Organised by: Compulsive Readers

Thanks to Tracy for inviting me on to the tour, and to Mara and Zaffre Books for gifting me with a copy of the book.  All views and opinions are my own.

Have a lovely day everyone

Chelle x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you).  This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.

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