Book Review: In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II

I have to be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book. It was a book that was offered through Amazon’s Kindle program. I believe it was a free book and I chose the book because of the cover. This selection was for Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenge. But I have to admit, the book pleasantly surprised me. The book in question is In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II written by Rhys Bowen. It is a mystery set in World War II England. Since I’m a fan of mysteries and this time period, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

The setting for this book is England specifically Farleigh in the Tandridge District of Surrey, England, just outside of London. The key characters in this book come from the upper class of English society, as well as, a few commoners. It was fascinating to see the tension between the different classes even under the hardships of World War II.

Bowen did a wonderful job setting the scenes and keeping the pace of the book. She incorporated a number of different story storylines. Each character was working through their own issues. She provided some historical background regarding different types of employment that individuals had during World War II. In In Farleigh Field, they worked in organizations where they would not allowed to talk to other people about what they did. Because these individuals kept running into each other, they had to keep fake stories to ward off suspicion. They were not aware that they were pursuing the same objective.

Bowen also tried to highlight the hardship of living in World War II England. She highlighted the food that they were eating or not allowed to eat. She talked about black marketing, raids on London, and gas rationing. Travel hardship was one of the themes throughout the book. You really got a sense of life during this period of time.

I enjoyed how the clues all came together and help to solve the mystery. A lot of research went into this book, I for one appreciated the attention to detail. I would definitely recommend it to others.

If you like mysteries then I think you would enjoy reading In Farleigh Field. It reads at a quick pace, in spite of being 378 pages spread across 40 chapters.

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