Sarah Gillespie is an MI5 agent in London during WWII. She’s assigned to handle a defector and double agent, Adeline. She gets information from her lover in Germany through the use of coded letters. However, Adeline is manipulative and Sarah is concerned that she’s double crossing the British. They undertake an operation in Lisbon, a city full of Nazi spies. Is Adeline telling Sarah the truth? Will they get back to Britain safely?
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed as in this review are completely my own.
I enjoyed the mystery in this story on what Adeline was going to do next. I also enjoyed the romance aspect as well. Typically historical fiction romance can be pretty cheesy and this was no exception. I enjoyed the characters during the story and thought it was well thought out.
Thank you NetGalley for the advance reader copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Russian born but raised in France, Adeline Vernier arrived in England and offered her services as a double agent. Sent by German Intelligence, she is assigned to MI5 agent Sarah Gillespie for vetting. This is a major assignment for Sarah and Adeline is not going to make it an easy one. For her cooperation, she demands that her boyfriend be rescued from occupied Paris, an impossible task. In exchange, she will send letters to her German handler with coded messages prepared by British Intelligence. Planning for D-Day is underway and the misdirection provided by those letters could save thousands of lives.
Sarah’s contacts with Adeline are often adversarial. Adeline does not trust Sarah or MI5 to free her boyfriend. When Sarah feels sorry for her isolation and invites her to a party to meet people, Adeline spends the evening flirting with Tony, Sarah’s boyfriend. It leads to distrust and stress at a time when Sarah is still proving herself to her superiors. A series of tragedies strike and Sarah is forced to take action if MI5’s latest project is to succeed. Although she can not confide her problems with Adeline to her friends, they are aware of the stress she is under and are there to support her. Sarah is sometimes unsure of herself but she has the determination to succeed. Pam Lecky’s The Last Letter from London is a fast paced story that is atmospheric and suspenseful with a bit of romance. This is an enjoyable read for fans of WWII fiction. I would like to thank NetGalley and Harper 360 for providing this book for my review.
The Last Letter from London is actually the third book in the series. I had not read the prior two but feel that this is a stand alone reader, although Sarah may have been a stronger character for me if I knew more about her background. Sarah is working for MI5 during the war and is assigned a double agent, Adeline. She proves to be quite a challenge for Sarah. This is the first read for me during this time frame that is heavily focused on spies. Having recently traveled to Lisbon, I was surprised that it was such a hotbed of spies during the war. I wish that I had read this before my trip. I found the first half of the book very interesting but I have to admit that the second half, focusing on Sarah’s relationship with Tony became a turnoff for me personally.
At first I truly doubted Adeline’s story about Nicholas and thought she was truly working for Germany. I found her character to be quirky and difficult to predict which intrigued me.
Many thanks to Pam Lecky, Avon, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to read this novel about World War II.
Pam Lecky brings readers to World War II London and the height of the intelligence community’s efforts to disrupt and dismantle the Nazi war machine in this gripping historical fiction novel. Following MI5 agent Sarah Gillespie, readers embark on a dangerous double-agent campaign, as MI5 is turning German agents to their own uses for the war effort. However, it is World War II, and in the intelligence community, one can never be certain of the loyalties of anyone -- including friends and boyfriends. Sarah is the lynchpin to a new facet of this counterintelligence campaign as the handler for a new double agent, Adeline, who has recently arrived from France and has ties to one of the SS’s top agents. Lecky has done a fantastic job in creating the nerve-wracking, tense, high-stakes atmosphere of military espionage, particularly at this point in World War II, and her characters occupy their roles as spies perfectly as dynamic, complex, and enigmatic figures. Lecky’s settings are appropriately war-torn, detailed, and full of life, and she handles the uglier side of war and espionage well while still maintaining accuracy. The Last Letter from London is an excellent work of World War II historical fiction, and readers will enjoy the high stakes of the period and of intelligence work during World War II.
This is the first I have read in the series but I will definitely go back and read the first two. The writing swept me up from the very beginning and kept me interested in this tale of espionage, double agents, and daring missions. I wasn’t so much a fan of the romantic aspects but it helped to lighten an otherwise heavy topic. I loved the concept of coded letters and was engrossed by this story of survival in wartime. Looking forward to checking out more in this series.
I love to read WWII Fiction and this was no exception. It was a solid 4 star read for me all the way through, but the ending was SO abrupt and that was difficult for me to reconcile. I'm definitely going to read the others in this series (I didn't realize it was a series until part way through the story) and will hope for a next installment soon to help clear up some of the many questions I have!
I received advanced copy of this book to review, all opinions are my own.
What a refreshing and engrossing read. I was being more and more amazed at how much research had to be done to write this book as I read it. Sharing Sarah's journey feels like a luxury because she is such a vivid and relatable character. Not in the "I wish I could be in her shoes" sense, but no one in their right mind would choose to live in a post-World War II world where getting by consists of dodging bombed-out buildings, praying that supplies of rations will last, and daydreaming about the possibility that luxuries like stockings will one day be again accessible.
No, this book does a fantastic job of immersing the reader in Sarah's world and allowing them to view events from her extraordinarily courageous point of view. Being an MI5 spy means that Sarah must continuously balance whether to trust individuals, question their intentions, and analyze every conversation she has with them—especially with Adeline, another complex and quirky character. The thing I like this novel the most was how Sarah makes the reader rethink everything and everyone. I would have attempted to help if I could have at some point, feeling more like a friend than an outside observer, wishing to shield and counsel her. I was compelled to participate.
Such a beautiful, refreshing read.
I have received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Special thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books for the opportunity
Thanks to Ballantine & NetGalley for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. When I began reading this, I did not realize this was a third book in a series but I didn’t think I needed to read the other books to understand this one. This was a slow burn novel to start but then the action, espionage and deception kicked in and I was hooked. I wasn’t a big fan of the romance aspect but I really enjoyed Adeline and Sarah’s story. My favorite part was the guessing, not really know who to trust or who to believe and that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I read. Outside of the romance, I really enjoyed this book.
Thank you NetGalley for the advanced copy!
This is the third book in a series which I initially did not know. I do think this book can easily be read as a standalone book. With that being said, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the first two. I do plan on picking up the first two because I enjoyed this one so much.
Sarah’s job is to be the handler of double agent, Adeline. Is Adeline truly wanting to help the Allies or is she a spy sent in by the Germans to gather intel? Sarah’s job becomes even more dangerous when they go from writing coded letters to going on a special operation together.
This story had me guessing the entire time which side Adeline and other characters belonged to which I loved. It was well written and an easy read!
This is number 3 in the series and also an enjoyable read. Since this was number 3 in a series I decided to read the others which were all really good!
Sarah Gillespie is living in London, working for MI5 as a spy, and her friendships with her cousin Judith and friend Gladys, and balancing her relationship with her love interest Tony another spy. She's assigned to be the handler of Adeline, a French girl who has been working for the Germans and wants to work for the Brits. Sarah needs to vet her and then become her handler. At first annoying Adeline, soon grew on me. Flighty and apricious at first, she had a lot more depth as the story went along. I enjoyed the relationship between Sarah and Adeline as they tried to figure each other out. They were both so different. When she went to Lisbon with Sarah it was pretty wild to learn about all the spies there during that time.
Overall, it was a really enjoyable read and I loved the series. It was set in London during WWII amongst a world of spies. I loved learning about her friends, family, love interests as well as their lives outside their various jobs. The author did a great job creating interesting characters.
Thanks to Harper 360, Netgalley, and Pam Lecky for early access to this book!
Thanks to Netgalley and Avon books for the digital copy of this book in exchange for a review.
I will start by saying this is the third book in a series, but I have not read the first two. I did not feel lost in the story, however, having some background maybe would have helped me enjoy this more.
Sarah works for MI5 in what I found to be a fly-by-the seat-of-their-pants capacity, way too random to be believable. Seems as if they would just assign her to whatever job struck their fancy. In this case, she was a handler for a double agent- however, she spoke none of the languages her charge communicated in, so she was never quite sure she was safe in using Adeline for the intended purpose. Too unrealistic. I also couldn't handle the childish nature in which everyone interacted with Sarah. Was this to be a reflection of the times in which the story was based, and she was female? I don't know, but I've read many books where women in the war efforts were respected and needed. Again, seemed too unrealistic for the importance of Sarah's role. This book came off as flighty, and was written in a very simplistic manner, which I found annoying for a serious topic. It turned into more of Sarah's thoughts on her love turmoil than the actual war, which was a disappointment for me. I did finish the book, however, if it wouldn't have been for Netgalley, I would have quit this book early on as it just wasn't for me, or my style. Light and simplistic on a very serious topic.
As a lover and of war time historical fiction this was one of the best ones I’ve read in a long time. This book was suspenseful the whole way through and took some turns I wasn’t expecting. I really enjoyed this book and the love interest was a fun part to the story!
I really wanted to like this book. I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, love anything that takes place in London, especially World War 2. Unfortunately, something about this book misses the mark. It’s not really a spy story, not really a romance novel, and not really about World War 2. The dialogue is forced, and the main character isn’t as strong a character as she should be. The book reads more like a draft than a final copy.
This is the third novel in author Pam Lecky's series entitled HER SECRET WAR about an unlikely woman-turned-spy operating during World War II.
Irish-born Sarah Gillespie begins the book happy in her intelligence job and with her boyfriend Tony, who does similar work. (They get together in #2 of the series.) Sarah is eager to take on more responsibility to prove that a woman can handle difficult and dangerous work as well as any man.
Her new assignment is to be the handler for a French woman who wants to work for the British as a double agent. The French woman turns out to be a handful, personal issues between the two women interfere, and pressure is building because their work is time-sensitive and extremely important to the war effort. All the makings for a page-turning spy thriller, right? Unfortunately the story struck me more as flat and contrived, with little building suspense. I actually noted the first time I felt tension of any kind -- I was about 70% into the novel. So my recommendation is lukewarm.
I'm generally a big fan of World War history and related historical fiction. But I just didn't feel this book delivered as well as many others I've read. So, though I have now read #2 and #3, I will probably NOT read any others from this series -- even though it's clear from the end of this one that at least one more novel with Sarah is planned. If you decide to give it a try I recommend starting with the one I missed, #1 - HER SECRET WAR. Might as well start at the beginning and get the full back story.
The Last Letter from London by Pam Lecky is a suspenseful WWII novel. Spies, double agents, disguises, and danger are around every corner. Will Tony's and Sarah's relationship survive the secrets that must not be shared, even with each other? Will they survive the last months of the war?
A copy was provided for my review, but all opinions are my own.
This was my first time reading Pam Lecky’s work, and I really enjoyed it. I love historical fiction, especially when it takes place during World War 2. Another aspect of this book that intrigued me was the heroine, Sarah, being an MI5 agent. The beginning dragged a bit, but the remainder of the book was exciting with its plot twists, and I like that real historical events are part of this story. I’ve seen comments by other reviewers that The Last Letter from London is part of a series, and now I wish I’d read the first two books before tackling this one because I did feel there were parts of the story I couldn’t grasp. So now I’m on the hunt for the first two books. If you love historical fiction, then I highly recommend giving Miss Lecky’s books a chance. You’ll be glad you did.
Looks like I am in the minority about this one but it just wasn't for me. The first half was very slow and I almost put it down a few times as I just wasn't invested in the characters. I am sure that part of the problem is that this novel is book 3 in a series so I was missing a lot of background about Sarah Gillespie, the main character - and perhaps that background would have helped me to like this novel.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Another great concept from Pam Lecky, it had a great feel of a historical romance novel. I enjoyed getting to know Sarah as a character. Adeline was wonderfully written and I enjoyed what I read. It uses the setting of World War 2 really well and I was never bored when reading this.
We opened by waking up to disappointment Tony was leaving. We jump right into heavy exposition I have no reason to care about and nothing to connect it with. I don't have any investment in anything and this all just threw me off. Not for me personally. I stopped at the end of chapter 1 (4%).
Thank you to NeGalley and Harper 360 for the ARC.