In at the Kill, by Alexander Fullerton

The story of Rosie, a female British secret agent, who escapes from a train taking her to a Nazi prison camp, is rescued by the French resistance, and gets involved in a plan to destroy a factory that the Germans are using to manufacture V2 rocket casings.

This was quite a long book, and not really very gripping at all. Pretty much the whole of the first half was taken up by Rosie being passed from one resistance group to another, each time explaining her story again. She appears to have no suspicion that anyone in her audience might be a German sympathiser, and so I guessed perhaps that she would be betrayed. But no, this doesn't happen. A few times she comes into contact with Germans, and I was expecting her to be recognised and have to make an exciting escape: but no, they just don't notice her.

She believes that the person responsible for her capture and arrest is a double-agent, and in the latter part of the book she meets up with him: he is involved in the plot to blow up the factory and so perhaps he's not a double-agent after all? But the plot moves so slowly that I'd sort of lost interest by this time.

The style of the book feels very dated; the dialogue could have come from a '50s war movie, with exchanges of the "buck up, Daphne, let's get the blighters" type. The Germans are uniformly bad and/or stupid and there are no interesting flaws in Rosie's character - she's just an uncomplicated heroine.

Sometimes Rosie recalls events prior to this adventure: they sound like they could be pretty exciting actually, stuff like "she remembered the time she'd had to knife the double agent on the overnight train and throw his body out of the window". But that's all the detail you get. I subsequently found that this book is part of a series about Rosie, and so perhaps these references are to events in earlier books, which, if that's the case, sound a lot more interesting than this one. But I'm not going to bother trying them to find out.


Completed : 18-Sep-2004 (audiobook)

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