Review: The Huntress

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

William Morrow, 2019. Paperback, 590 pages.Cover: The Huntresss

Part each mystery, suspense, thriller, espionage, action, and literary and all historical fiction, The Huntress will keep readers enthralled.  Told in alternating perspectives, readers see the story unfold through the multiple sets of eyes.  Just who is the huntress and why is it important she be brought to justice?

One of the first characters introduced was Nina Markova.  Born to fly but nicknamed for water, Nina would join the legendary Night Witches Russian all-female bombing squadron during World War II.  Through her eyes readers will see the unique camaraderie the squadron had and the struggles the women faced in a man’s world.  Her story also provides an eye-opener about living in Soviet Russia. But when Nina is stranded behind enemy lines, she has an encounter with a huntress that both haunts her and gives her a new mission.

The other female viewpoint is provided by Jordan McBride, who first appears in the book is a teenager just after the war ends.  Jordan has a love for photography and dreams of a career in the field. Even her idols are all famous photographers, many of whom were women war correspondents.  But one day her widowed father brings home a new fiancee, a German war widow, and her young daughter. Jordan feels as though something is off even as she becomes close to her new stepmother, but will she uncover the truth?  And will she follow her heart or the path her father has chosen for her?

The sole male viewpoint comes from Ian Graham, a British former war correspondent turned Nazi hunter.  With his partner, the Jewish-American Tony Romadovsky, he has spent the post-war years tracking down Nazi’s who fled and ensuring they were persecuted.  But there is one woman who eludes him, the murderer of his younger brother, an escaped POW, who is also a murderess of children. He and Tony must team up with the one person who could serve as a witness, Nina, and find the elusive woman known only as the huntress.

Long, but fast-paced, readers will not want to put The Huntress down.  Danger lurks everywhere and clues are woven in over the novel’s multi-year span.  How will each character rise to the challenge and determine the truth? How will they react when all of their lives intersect?  What secrets may threaten what others hold dear? Combining mystery and suspense, this novel is also well-research with characters all based on composites of real individuals. On the parts that flashback to the past, Nina’s story of her time in the war reflects other things I have read about the Night Witches and interweaves real individuals.  Readers will feel that they are part of Nina’s squadron, Jordan’s family, and the team investigating the huntress. Compared to Quinn’s The Alice Network, this novel tops that book club and media favorite hands-down.  Really, there is no comparison as to which is the better book. I could easily see The Huntress becoming a classic in the years to come. For readers of historical fiction and espionage fiction, this is not to be missed.

Have you read the novel yet?  If so, what did you think.  If not, do you plan to?

This review is based on an advanced copy of the novel obtained from the publisher, HarperCollins.  It was released on February 26th, 2019.


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