I first heard of The Huntress by Kate Quinn from the Modern Mrs Darcy Summer Reading Guide 2019. I wasn’t sure if it was for me, but I put in a reserve for it at the library and in due course it arrived. Would I read it? Do I want to know about all the bloodshed and evil of the WW2 time in yet another historical fiction book? I decided to read a few pages and see how I went.
After five pages – I was hooked. The writing and tone of the book just reeled me in. The story rotates around three characters’ points of view. There is Ian an Englishman who lost a brother in the war, he is a journalist, suffers from post war trauma from his time as a journalist during it. Now he is part of a small team hunting Nazis down and bringing them (hopefully) to justice. Along with him is Tony a European with Polish/Hungarian blood, younger than Ian but still a good foil to him and very useful as “the charming good guy” of the pair.
Nina forms the third member of the team, she is Russian and grew up in harsh conditions, survived and became a pilot in the Russian army, in a women’s division known as the Night Witches. What a character she is. She Is hard bitten and tough, a razor wielding vixen. But look closer and just maybe there is a softer side to her. I have to say I came to adore her.
Jordan lives in America in Boston, hers is the third POV. She is young and loves to photograph people. She has a new stepmother and new little sister. She has a fiancé who while he seems right for her, perhaps isn’t. I found myself totally hooked into the relationship that Jordan and her stepmother form. I loved Jordan’s love for her little stepsister Ruth and her protection of her.
We toggle between a few time periods – during the war getting Nina’s back story and then after the war in 1950 Ian and Tony and Nina working together to find the woman who has eluded them but they are compelled to track down. As well Jordan’s timeline tracks along at about the same time in Boston. It totally works.
I loved the tiny pieces of humour in the book that made me smile,( Ian’s reading material being one) while every moment I had I was picking up the book to see what was going to happen next in the nail biting, yet slow, patient, tracking of The Huntress. Bring to this story your own experience of hiding from something or someone and if you are like me you’ll hate the crime but possibly feel for the hunted.
Extremely well written, informative and thought provoking. I highly recommend it.