The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards
English | 2020 | Historical Fiction | ePUB | 2.3 MB
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.
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.
of her coat higher to warm herself.
A flash of light in the darkness caught her eye. Her head turned as she sought the source. Looking through the iron bars of the garden gate, she discovered a side door in the building that was slowly, stealthily opening.
“Is anyone else in there? Come out or I’ll shoot.” The volume of the soldiers’ shouts increased exponentially with this new gap in the walls. That guttural threat rang out above others less distinct, and she gathered from what she heard that they were searching the building.
The side door opened wider. Light from inside spilled past a figure slipping out: a girl, tall and thin with dark curly hair, wearing what appeared to be an unbuttoned coat thrown on over nightclothes. In her arms she carried a small child with the same dark, curly hair.
The light went out. The door had closed. Genevieve discovered that she was sitting with her nose all but pressed against the window as she tried to find the girl in the darkness. It took her a second, but then she spotted the now shadowy figure as it fled through the garden toward the gate, trying to escape.
They’ll shoot her if they catch her. The child, too.
The Germans had no mercy for those for whom they came.
The girl reached the gate, paused. A pale hand grabbed a bar. From the metallic rattle that reached her ears, Genevieve thought she must be shoving at the gate, shaking it. She assumed it was locked. In any event, it didn’t open. Then that same hand reached through the bars, along with a too-thin arm, stretching and straining.
Toward what? It was too dark to tell.
With the Citroën stopped in the middle of the narrow street and the garden set back only a meter or so from the front facade of the building, the girl was close enough so that Genevieve could read the desperation in her body language, see the way she kept looking back at the now closed door. The child, who appeared to be around ten months old, seemed to be asleep. The small curly head rested trustingly on the girl’s shoulder.
It wasn’t a conscious decision to leave the car. Genevieve just did it, then realized the risk she was taking when her pumps clickety-clacked on the cobblestones. The sound seemed to tear through the night and sent a lightning bolt of panic through her.
Get back in the car. Her sense of self-preservation screamed it at her, but she didn’t. Shivering at the latent menace of the big military trucks looming so close on either side of the Citroën, the police car parked askew in the street, the light spilling from the still open front door and the sounds of the raid going on inside the building, she kept going, taking care to be quiet now as she darted toward the trapped girl.
You’re putting yourself in danger. You’re putting Otto, Max, everyone in danger. The whole network—
Heart thudding, she reached the gate. Even as she and the girl locked eyes through it, the girl jerked her arm back inside and drew herself up.
The sweet scent of flowers from the garden felt obscene in contrast with the fear and despair she sensed in the girl.