STAFF PICK: The Huntress by Kate Quinn

Title: The Huntress
Author: Kate Quinn
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld

Oh my goodness. Dear reader, you will not be able to stop listening to Kate Quinn’s latest book, The Huntress. I found myself so engrossed in this book that I would sit in my car once I’d arrived at my destination just to finish a chapter—and sometimes this was for 15 minutes or more.

The Huntress is story of how the lives of a Soviet Night Witch, a British war correspondent, and a young American photographer’s lives are impacted by a Nazi murderess, known only as the Huntress. As some spend their days haunted by her actions and longing to bring her to justice for her crimes, others spend their days welcoming her in their lives, unaware of her past and her true story.

Not only is the premise for the book well thought out and impeccably researched, Kate Quinn has also created a cast of characters who are believable and well-rounded. She has crafted the bold, headstrong Nina—our Night Witch Soviet bomber—to be vulnerable but true to her spirit. We meet Jordan, a young woman who catches a glimpse through her camera that reveals all is not what it seems, and we watch her struggle to make her own choices and learn to trust her herself. And Ian, our reliable British war correspondent who is wrestling to come to terms with his own experiences in the war and his own demons.  Not to mention The Huntress herself, who, while trying to live a quiet life after the war, has obviously not shaken off her past. All of these characters are brought to life through Saskia Maarleveld’s marvelous narration. She has treated not only the characters with perfect tone, but her overall pacing and treatment of the work are all on point.

Told through alternating perspectives and years, The Huntress will leave you asking “how?” How does this all fit together? How are they going to find her? How can I not have heard of the Night Witches before? How could someone do this? How did Kate Quinn craft such an excellently paced, fascinating, informative, gripping novel with everything from romance to suspense, to humor? I, for one, will not question Kate Quinn’s writing abilities but be forever in awe of them.

Publisher Summary:

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.

In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth.

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