While Canadian history professor Andrew Stanhope is doing research in Paris on the German invasion of France, he stumbles upon an odd and long-lost exchange between Colonel Marius Michel, principal deputy in France's counter-intelligence agency, the Deuxième Bureau, and the Directeur-Général of the Val de Grâce military hospital. The Colonel wants the Directeur to warn the incoming Prime Minister, Philippe Pétain, that there is an active spy in the French war ministry and that the Marshal's own ring of advisors includes at least one Nazi sympathizer. By means of alternating flashbacks between 1940 and the 1970s, the author uncovers Michel's attempts to track down the traitor and other collaborators whose espionage may have led to the sudden and ignominious defeat of France. Working undercover, and with his life definitely at risk, Michel follows a trail that stretches from the heart of the war ministry on the Left Bank of Paris to the bustlng high fashion industry on the Right. It is there, within the Maison d'Ariège that he encounters its treasonous owner, Louis Loriot, two beautiful German-born spies, two cases of cold-blooded murder, as well as his own would-be killer. All this, Stanhope pieces together decades later, before making the most startling discovery of them all.
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About the Author
Saskatchewan-born, Robert J. Young received his doctorate from the London School of Economics, and is currently Emeritus Professor of History and Fellow of United College at the University of Winnipeg. He is a recipient of the University's principal award for Excellence in Teaching, and its principal award for Excellence in Research. He was also named Canadian Professor of the Year by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education. The first of his 10 books was published by Harvard University Press, the most recent by the Winnipeg Free Press. His biography of one 20th century French statesman was awarded the Canadian Historical Association's Ferguson Prize for the best book in non-Canadian history; and another biography of a French diplomat and historian received the Manitoba Writers Guild's Isbister prize for the best work of non-fiction.