France 1944. Lovers Marianne and Jack are brave resistance fighters against the Nazi occupiers. But their group is betrayed. Both survive the raid but Jack is captured. Marianne is planning to rescue him when she is informed that Jack is the traitor. She is determined to prove his innocence but is she mistaken…?
The Silence Before Dawn is an historical novel set in France in the 1930s and 40s. The majority is set in 1944 but we also see earlier times when Jack and Marianne first met in England and developed their romance.
The narrative style varies as some of the book is written from Marianne’s first person perspective whilst there are other chapters written in the third person to show other characters and their situations.
Bravery and courage feature heavily and the strength of the female characters is refreshing. There are moments of brutality and violence but these felt authentic and in keeping with the genre and historical reality.
Marianne has a whole mixture of emotions to deal with over the course of the book. Her loyalties are divided after she is informed that Jack has betrayed them but her heart can’t quite believe it. She also has grief at the death of her brother early in the book and fear for the safety ofher remaining brother and the rest of their unit.
The Silence Before Dawn is an enjoyable historical novel.
Nazi-occupied France, 1944: I tear open the envelope, extracting a sheet of folded paper. I read it, my heart cracking with every word. There is no mistaking the name of the man who betrayed us. Jack. My beloved fiancé – and now, a traitor.
For months, Marianne’s resistance network has carried out courageous missions from a remote farmhouse in southern Provence, aiding the Nazis’ downfall. But one fateful night, they are viciously ambushed as German soldiers storm in, scattering, capturing or killing every last person there.
Mourning the loss of her friends, Marianne will need every ounce of courage to survive. Not only has her life as a secret agent been critically compromised, but her heart has been shattered. Because Jack, her darling fiancé and fellow spy, fled in the chaos – and is accused of being the traitor who betrayed them.
Desperate to believe Jack’s innocence and that their love was true, to her horror Marianne discovers he has been seized by the Butcher of Lyon, a Nazi more brutal and ruthless than any other. Now it is more imperative than ever that Marianne finds Jack – before he reveals the names of every undercover agent in France, or before he is murdered for remaining loyal.
So Marianne sets out on the most dangerous mission of her life, and the most personal. With her tight-knit group of fellow women agents by her side, she risks everything to rescue Jack. Can she save her fiancé before it’s too late – and change the fate of the war in the process? Or is she blind to the heart-breaking truth, and simply sacrificing her own life?
Based on true stories of the fearless women secret agents – and their tales of bravery, betrayal and love – this is the first book in the heart-pounding, heart-wrenching and totally addictive World War Two Resistance series. Perfect for readers of The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See and Ellie Midwood.
Amanda was born in Hong Kong and survived both a convent boarding school and a Jesuit boys’ school before being summarily ejected from the latter. She gets her thirst for adventure from her parents who met in the jungle in Borneo where her mother had set up a hospital and her father, a former Gurkha Intelligence officer and Oxford-educated spy, was probably up to no good.
She is the author of the bestselling satirical novels Selling Out and Secret Admirer (published by Pan) which have both received critical acclaim and have been translated into several languages. Her major YA thriller trilogy, Kumari, Goddess of Gotham, was written as a tribute to her mum, who died a couple of months before Amanda got the idea for a series which would reflect her own exotic childhood. Kumari was nominated for the Guardian Children’s Book Prize and the Doncaster Book Award. It featured as Redhouse Book Of The Month and Lovereading4kids Book Of The Month.
A broadcaster as well as an actress and novelist, Amanda appears regularly on BBC radio and LBC and was a contracted writer to the hit series Weekending on Radio 4. She researched and edited the leading directory for banks, The Banker’s Almanac, for Euromoney publications while also covering stories of shady dealings in the City for them. She has written for, or contributed to, The Evening Standard, The Times, New Woman, US Cosmopolitan, Bulgaria’s Vagabond and Company Magazine as well as numerous online publications and has two non-fiction books published under a pen name.
Amanda has conducted a love coaching phone-in from the sofa of Richard & Judy and wooed the viewers on Channel 5 Live. She won an award at the Hungarian Gyor Film Festival for a short film she produced, a psychological thriller called Pros and Cons.
Her book, From Aconite to the Zodiac Killer: The Dictionary of Crime, was published by Robinson/Little Brown in July 2020 to excellent reviews. It was published in the US by Ulysses Press in May 2021. She has just completed the first in a romantic thriller series set at the end of WW2.