Book Title and Author: The Huntress by Kate Quinn
Publication Date and Publisher: February 26, 2019 by William Morrow
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 560 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: January 13, 2019 (e-arc)
In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…
Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.
British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.
Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first book by Kate Quinn–so much so that I immediately read The Alice Network afterward (if you haven’t read it, then I recommend it too)! The Huntress is a vivid and well-researched story that takes places after World War II. Ian Graham, a famous British ex-war correspondent, and Tony Rodomovsky, a former American soldier join together after the war to find hidden Nazi war criminals and see them brought to justice.
But there is one criminal who remains elusive, a Nazi murderess known only as “the Huntress” because she would lure Jewish children and other refugees escaping the horrors of Nazi occupation to her lakeside home in Poland and shoot them in cold blood…and she’s the woman Ian wants to catch most of all because of a personal vendetta.
Ian’s wife Nina Markova, a former Soviet combat pilot is the only person to have escaped the Huntress’ deadly grasp and wants her own revenge. Ian, Tony, and Nina team up in a riveting and suspenseful hunt that takes them from Europe to the United States as her trail suddenly goes from cold to hot.
While the hunters are after their prey in the present day, Quinn also tells Nina’s backstory of her time as a fighter pilot for the Russian army during WWII, the only Allied forces to have females in combat, which I found so fascinating. In fact, the incredible facts about the female Soviet combat pilots, dubbed The Night Witches by the Nazi Army because they were so terrifying, were an added bonus to the book!
In Boston, Jordan McBride is a smart, 17-year-old who wants to go to college and be a professional photographer, but her widowed father wants her to stay home, continue to work in the family antique shop, and one day run it. Their life suddenly changes after her dad meets a German refugee named Anneliese with a 4-year-old daughter, Ruth and marries her. Jordan does her best to welcome her new step-mother, especially as Anneliese is so nice and supportive of her passion for photography. Yet, there’s some niggling reason Jordan just doesn’t trust her stepmother, so she begins to dig into Anneliese’s past by using her photography skills.
The Huntress is an engrossing and at times dark cat-and-mouse thrill ride where the writing is detailed and rich with history! The mystery, perfect amount of romance, dynamic characters, skillful character development, and masterful, yet at times harrowing plot makes for a gripping and wonderful read and if you love WWII history, then I definitely recommend you read this one!
~Another fantastic Traveling Sisters’ read! I had a great time discussing this one and hearing everyone’s thoughts! You can read their fab review here.
**Thank you Edelweiss and William Morrow for an ARC to read and review in exchange for my fair and honest review.**