Every now and again you come across a book that really affects you. Louis is one of them that really got to me. Here’s what I said back in 2012 in my review:
Take a child of mixed race born in the early twentieth century and give him over to a woman, not his birth mother, to bring up. Then when he is twelve, send him away from his home country to a boarding school in England, then on to Oxford University. What do you get from this far from unsatisfactory beginning – Derek Haines’ hero Louis, an intelligence officer in the employ of the British government?
Half Egyptian, half English, fluent in many languages and adept at his job, we follow Louis through his many guises and name changes, a requirement for his own protection in the nineteen twenties and thirties, and more particularly so, through the second world war.
In short, Derek has written a beauty here. If you love history as I do, especially if you love twentieth century history, then with the shadowy world of espionage thrown into the mix for good measure, you will enjoy following Louis’ journey through his life as I did.
Should I wax lyrical about the story at this point, I would be giving away a truly brilliant read. Suffice to say, if you don’t feel you have read a great tale told well when you reach the last page, then quite frankly you seriously need help.