Book Review for “Her Last Betrayal” by Pam Lecky.
Summary: “After losing her family to a Nazi bomb attack back home in Ireland, Sarah Gillespie joins the British Secret Services to bring them justice. Partnered with an American undercover agent, Lieutenant Tony Anderson, Sarah embarks on a dangerous mission that takes her from war-torn London into the black mountains of Wales. But when one of her team is revealed to be a German mole, and enemies begin to close in, what price will Sarah have to pay to save her country, and to save herself?“
Age: Adult; Genres: Literary, Women, Fiction; Settings: Historical; United Kingdom – London, Wales; Other Categories: Novel, Sequel, WWII, Mystery, Romance.
Well, I knew there was going to be a second novel after reading Lecky’s previous book, “Her Secret War” and I was right. Now I’m thinking this could end up being a trilogy, but that’s neither here nor there at this point. I already liked Sarah from the first book and having the chance to learn more about her was a pleasure. This time, Sarah’s been moved to London only to end up taking on a mission that brings her to Wales. Since this book continues almost immediately after the last one, there’s not much we need to catch up on, and while this is a sequel, I can see that if you haven’t read the first one, you might not feel like you’ve missed out on much – but I think it would be better to read the previous book first, since it is very good.
Now, one of the things that I liked about Sarah is that she wasn’t ever intending to be a hero, and only wanted to get away from Ireland and the death and destruction she left behind. The added bonus for her was that she was never a sympathizer with Ireland’s neutrality in the war, and that helped motivate her to join up with the war efforts of the British. Part of that was due to the fact that she lost her sister and father in that Nazi bombing, so well described in the first novel. We also understand that Sarah is still new to the espionage business, and Lecky makes sure that she doesn’t make Sarah too good at her new job, but she also makes sure we see that Sarah has more of a talent than she realizes.
To fully explain the set-up in this novel, I’d have to reveal a spoiler from the first one, so let’s just say that some information comes to Sarah that makes her even more angry, and even more anxious to prove that she has no Irish Republican sentiments, and is loyal to the British in their fight against the Axis. With America now in the war, we get a new character with Lieutenant Anderson, who is suspicious of Sarah and not happy with having either a woman or an Irish person as his new partner. This mutual distaste between the two should signal tall readers of the start of a well-used trope we’ve seen many times in romance novels. However, this thankfully isn’t the centerpiece of this book, which would have made it far too romantic for my taste.
Instead, we get several nail-biting scenes that though we are sure our main protagonist will survive (you don’t kill off your hero until you’re ready to end the book – or series, as the case may be), we do wonder how she’ll get out of these tight spots. Lecky also throws us some red herrings and casts suspicions in several different ways, so that we’re never really sure if the people working with Sarah might actually be working against her at the same time. Now, I figured out who the mole was through a very tiny slip of the tongue by that character, which Sarah didn’t catch when it happened. I was sure Lecky put that in there as a clue for both the readers and Sarah, so I was a bit surprised that this never gets mentioned again. But other than that, I thought the plot was very nicely thought out, and worked well for the story as a whole. I also felt that Lecky did a very nice job of setting the ending of this book up for a third book in the series, but with a touch less of a cliff-hanger than her first book.
Again, as I said, I still really like the character of Sarah, and I also liked Anderson long before Sarah did. However, I think Lecky had Sarah second guessing herself a bit too much in this book than she needed, along with one other thing that felt out of character for a good Catholic girl like Sarah. There’s also the open question of Paul, Sarah’s love interest from the first book, which I think Lecky will need to address in the next installment (sorry, can’t say more…). Overall, this was a very enjoyable and surprisingly fast read (even for this dyslexic). For all this, I think it deserves a very warm recommendation with four and a half stars out of five. I’m sure this will appeal to lovers of WWII historical, women’s fiction, who don’t mind a touch of romance mixed with suspense on Britain’s home front.
Avon Books will release “Her Last Betrayal” by Pam Lecky on April 14, 2022. This book is (or will be) available (via the following affiliate links) from Amazon, Foyles, The Book Depository UK and Book Depository US (both with free worldwide delivery), Waterstones, WHSmith, Wordery UK and Wordery US, Kobo US (eBooks and audiobooks), the website eBooks.com, Booksamillion.com, iTunes (iBooks and audiobooks), new or used from Alibris, used from Better World Books (promoting libraries and world literary), as well as from as well as from Bookshop.org and UK.Bookshop (to support independent bookshops, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic) or an IndieBound store near you. I would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel via NetGalley.