Christian Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Excerpts

Little Known Era Brought to Life in Shadow of Treason

  • Cheryl Russell Infuze Magazine
  • 2007 27 Dec
Little Known Era Brought to Life in <i>Shadow of Treason</i>

Author:  Tricia Goyer
Title:  A Shadow of Treason
Publisher:  Moody Publishers

American Sophie Grace is caught up in a nightmare. She’d originally journeyed to Spain in search of her fiancé, Michael. She’d found him, but lost him later to a sniper’s bullet--another victim of the Spanish Civil War. After his death, she learns another woman is pregnant with his child, forcing her to battle grief and betrayal.

But war doesn’t stop to allow one woman to grapple with her pain, for it is too busy inflicting pain and terror on anyone it chooses. Yesterday it chose the Spanish town of Guernica. First came the bombs that blew apart the buildings. Next were the firebombs, burning those trapped in the buildings. The last waves were the fighter planes that strafed the villagers fleeing the fires. Sophie had seen it all and intended to use her painting skills to put to canvas what she had seen, in order to let the world know the carnage that had occurred. The only bright spot in this violent world is Philip, a fellow American Sophie has fallen in love with.

But even that small bit of happiness is denied her. A skilled photographer as well as a painter, Sophie has photos of the German planes raining devastation from the skies. It is evidence that becomes crucial when Spanish President Aguirre announces on the radio that the Germans deny bombing Guernica, for centuries the “shrine to the Basque spirit of freedom and independence.”

Before she can solidify plans to deliver the photos, the conflict spins her in another direction. Walt Block, an American newspaper reporter, draws her deeper into the intrigue that is the undercurrent of war. He has news that she doesn’t want to hear, but must. Michael is alive and, as Walt continues, is a man of many identities. Walt’s job for the past two years has been to track Michael and his associates, keeping track of his every move. Walt is sure Michael is involved in the theft of a large amount of Spanish gold-reserves the government is using to pay the Russians for help. She promises Walt she will find Michael and do her best to get close to him again, even though her heart now belongs to Philip. The American artist who came to Spain in search of her fiancé has now entered the dangerous world of espionage

Are her feelings for Philip strong enough? When she sees Michael, will her emotions reassert themselves, placing her in greater jeopardy? Following Walt’s advice, she slashes her paintings of the bombing and gives him her photos because he’s promised to deliver them into the right hands. But the “right hands” will be determined by Walt, as much of a chameleon as Michael.

As country descends further into chaos and anarchy, others struggle with this new world they find themselves in. Subplots further add to the suspense as new characters appear and revelations continue about characters from the previous book.

A Shadow of Treason is Tricia Goyer’s second book in the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War. (A Valley of Betrayal was the first). As with her previous World War II books, she has brought to life a little known era through her use of meticulous, but not overbearing, historical detail. She’s also ratcheted up the suspense in this novel, leaving me not sure at all where this is all going to go. But I’m going to find out by reading her next novel, A Whisper of Freedom, coming in February 2008.


© 2007 Infuze Magazine
.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.