Germany, 1934. Hitler and the Nazi party continue to move toward complete power. Elena Standish, now working for MI6, has been sent on a mission to Berlin. Her assignment, assist a scientist to get out of the country before the enemy can use his knowledge for themselves. To complete her mission it will take everything she has learned and more. And to save herself and protect what is most important to her, she must learn just how resourceful and courageous she can be.
Perry’s plot weaves several distinct storylines together in order to give you a sense of the political strain of the times, as well as the personal struggles of the characters involved. The writing and language help to evoke a Germany on the brink, and Perry brings one of history’s most crucial events to life. The Night of the Long Knives encompassed a series of politically motivated executions ordered by Hitler in order to consolidate his power. In recreating this event, Perry provides a real sense of the disorder, the frenzy, and the fear that infected everyone and everything.
As in prior installments in this series, Elena Standish makes a compelling protagonist. She is undeniably intelligent, sensitive, and caring. But, over the course of the series she has not grown with regards to inner strength or self confidence. In short, she dithers her way through just about every situation. Surprisingly, the character that most captured my attention was Hans Beckendorff. With Hans, Perry has created the personification of a rising Gestapo officer in Hitler’s new regime. His story furnishes a great deal of insight into what was probably the mindset of many within Germany during this turbulent time.
While, for the most part, the pacing was good, the were points in the story where it could have been better. As I mentioned previously, the character of Elena had a habit of questioning her motives, second guessing her decisions, and holding back when it came to taking action. This often resulted in significantly bogging down the narrative as it flitted back and forth along with Elena’s inner monologue.
Set amidst the tensions of a world on the brink of WWII, A Truth to Lie for is an effective story that I thoroughly enjoyed.