THE BLACK SWAN OF PARIS by Karen Robards

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From the publisher:

From New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards comes one of the most anticipated novels of the summer…

A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected.

Paris, 1944

Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling of the Nazis, the chanteuse’s position of privilege allows her to go undetected as an ally to the resistance.

When her estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is captured by Nazis, Genevieve knows it won’t be long before the Gestapo succeeds in torturing information out of Lillian that will derail the upcoming Allied invasion. The resistance movement is tasked with silencing her by any means necessary—including assassination. But Genevieve refuses to let her mother become yet one more victim of the war. Reuniting with her long-lost sister, she must find a way to navigate the perilous cross-currents of Occupied France undetected—and in time to save Lillian’s life.

For fans of The Nightingale, The Women in the Castle and The Lost Girls of Paris, this exquisite novel illuminates three women’s strength, courage and capacity for unconditional love.


Karen Robards turns her attention temporarily away from the successful contemporary suspense novels she normally writes in order to give her readers a war story. The book gives the reader many stories in one. It is about war – a bloody one – World War two. It tells the story of the French resistance to Nazi occupation braving the horrors of absolute repression practiced by the German conquerors. It takes place during the last period of the war at a point where an allied invasion is planned and both the Germans and allies are working to bestow their own ending on it. The Germans to find out where it will take place in order to turn it back, and the allies to hide it, surprising the enemy and making it into the final stage against the third Reich. Most importantly, the novel does not detract in any way from the author’s ability to mesmerize her readership and serves only to increase her range with those enjoying her books.

Genevieve Dumont is a singer that has created herself as a persona with an exceptionally good voice, a marvelous stage presence, and the ability to take charge of her audience. She is the daughter of French upper-class people, but has had a falling out with her mother Lillian de Rocheford, and has fled from her family and ending up in Casablanca, Morocco eking out a living singing in various venues to earn some money to live on.

Discovered there by Max, a British officer seconded to the French resistance movement, she is molded by him into a spy and guided into creating scenarios that allow her group to obtain information important to the French Partisans. Over the years they work together their emotions are kept in check, but the author creates a very plausible situation leading to the couple falling in love. The final section of the book finds that Lillian de Rocheford has been captured by the Germans and is being subjected to torture in order to force her to release the location of the coming invasion. Lilian knows the site due to the fact that the allies have given her an important role on the day of the invasion.

Family is family and Genevieve gets Max and her group to try and effect her mother’s release in order to carry out her assigned mission. That the book grabs hold of the readers and doesn’t let go until the end is a given. It is indicative of the literary talent that is Karen Robards and her ability to capture and keep her readers fixed on the book as well as looking for the next one.

7/2020 Paul Lane

THE BLACK SWAN OF PARIS by Karen Robards. MIRA; Original edition (June 30, 2020). ISBN: 978-0778309338. 480 pages.

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