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In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II…

In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II (edition 2017)

by Rhys Bowen (Author)

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Title:In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II
Authors:Rhys Bowen (Author)
Info:Lake Union Publishing (2017), 396 pages
Collections:Your library

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In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen



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I love historical fiction set during WWII--especially if the setting is European. What I like most about this particular book is that it wasn't a dark, overly serious story about the particulars of the war. This book was light and entertaining with good characters and a solid mystery. I really enjoyed it and will be looking for other books by this author. ( )
  cwhisenant11 | Oct 12, 2017 |
Entertaining. ( )
  velopunk | Aug 27, 2017 |
WWII means sacrifices for everyone in Britain. That includes Farleigh Place in Kent, the home of Lord Westerham and his family, where soldiers are being billeted. When the body of a paratrooper wearing a British uniform is found in Farleigh Field, at first it is assumed that he is one of their own troops…except that everyone of the regiment he supposedly represents are accounted for. Which means he is most likely a German spy. But what would a spy be doing in this area? Was he there to meet someone but, if so, whom? The only clue and the only thing he was carrying is a photograph with a number on it but no one recognizes the area depicted or sees the significance if any of the number.

In Farleigh Field, the historical fiction by author Rhys Bowen, is, for the most part, a well-plotted and well-written tale about life on the British home front during WWII when it was only Britain and Commonwealth members fighting. There is a large number of characters but Rhys makes them distinctive enough that they remain separate and mostly interesting individuals. The story is mainly told by two protagonists: Ben, the vicar’s son, injured in a plane crash before the war, now working for a secret government agency in London, sent home to investigate and Pam, one of Westerham’s five daughter, who also works in London but has also been sent home.

That is not to say that this book is perfect. Interesting characters and storylines disappear from the story only to be resurrected later in rather clumsy ways, uninteresting ones get too much space, and others appear for no apparent reason except to add an extra (and unnecessary) red herring. But my biggest complaint was about the ending; despite the fact that the reader has already been told who the main culprit is, there is an attempt at a big reveal at the end which, for obvious reasons, doesn’t work.

Having said that, though, I have to say I really enjoyed this book. It is an interesting combination of fiction and actual history. Much of the story, for example, revolves around the fear of an attempted assassination of the king by a group of Aristocrats who feel that surrender would be in the best interest of England and wants to restore the Duke of Windsor, an admirer of Hitler, to the throne. There was, in fact, such a group. There is also much space given to the inconveniences that were necessitated by rationing, billeting of troops, and housing of children from the cities. Some may find all of this boring and a distraction from the mystery but, for me and I expect for anyone who likes real history in their historical fiction, I found this all fascinating and made the story much more compelling.

Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review ( )
  lostinalibrary | Aug 27, 2017 |
Not bad, chose it from the selection of Kindle First books for February because none of the others appealed to me. ( )
  teedee_m | Aug 25, 2017 |
This takes place in the Kent countryside after Dunkirk but before the United States has entered World War II. The Suttons live at Farleigh, a large estate, where soldiers have also been quartered. The Earl has five daughters around whom much of the story revolves. The youngest, along with the gamekeeper's boy, finds a dead body; the body is dressed as a British soldier but has fallen from the skies when his parachute didn't open. There is suspicion he's a German spy and Ben, the vicar's son who's in love with the middle Sutton daughter Pamma is sent down to see what he can find. Meanwhile, Jeremy, Ben's friend and Pamma's 'boyfriend' has escaped from a German POW camp and is back home.
The action goes from Paris to London and from code breakers to MI5 as Ben and Pamma try to find the plot and catch the spies. It's a fun read with a stock group of characters. As I read, I kept thinking this would be a great mini-series or film. The mystery isn't that hard to figure out, but I enjoyed it anyway. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Jul 30, 2017 |
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Septenber 1939

From: His Majesty's Government

To: Civilian Population of Great Britain

For the duration of the war, the following Seven Rules are to be observed at all times.

1. Do not waste food.

2. Do not talk to strangers.

3. Keep all information to yourself.

4. Always listen to government instructions and carry them out.

5. Report anything suspicious to the police.

6. Do not spread rumours.

7. Lock away anything that might help the enemy if we are invaded.
This book is for Meg Ruley, who believed in it from the beginning and helped to shape it. Meg, you are my champion, and the day we met was one of the high points of my life.
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Elmsleigh, Kent

August 1939

It had been unusually hot all summer.
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Dead in Farleigh Field

A parachutist is found.

Perhaps Nazi spy?


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