The Huntressby Kate Quinn Published 26 Feb 2019
|Publisher||William Morrow Paperbacks|
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From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, THE ALICE NETWORK, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.
In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…
Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.
Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.
Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.
In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth.
"The Huntress" Reviews
OH MY GOD YES! 5 STARS! A perfect blend of historical fiction and crime solving.
Synopsis: Ian Graham used to be a British war correspondent. But after 15 years of writing, he needed to “do” rather than tell; so he started an independent business hunting Nazi leaders and bringing them to justice. His most elusive target remains. She’s known as the Huntress. And he has a personal vendetta against her.
Then you have Nina who, unfortunately, witnessed the Huntress’ lethal crimes. She barely survived as a prisoner of war and now joins forces with Ian to locate their target.
And lastly, there's Jordan, a 17-year-old Bostonian. Her dad has been widowed for years and has finally found love again. But something is off about her dad’s new love interest. As their relationship turns toward marriage, Jordan starts to dig into her future stepmom’s past. What she finds could shatter everything.
Review: HOLY CRAP! This was brilliant. Kate Quinn was masterful in weaving three distinct perspectives into one plot. Everything written was necessary. I found that I craved the backstories of Nina, Ian, and Jordan. It helped tremendously in building their individual pursuits. I don't think this plotline would have been successful otherwise.
They all had one objective - justice. Jordan's tethered on the need to know the truth, while Ian and Nina wanted to avenge Seb.
I immediately connected to Jordan's subplot. Her story is very coming of age - defining her path in life outside of just being a bride. I loved it. I loved her tenacity and curiosity. She set the "detective" air in motion from the get-go.
But I found myself rooting for Nina most. Her tough, reckless exterior is so apparent that when you see glimmers of raw emotion escape her, you truly have a visceral reaction. She was magic.
Ian is the backbone. He was the glue that brought everyone together and kept the story emotionally engaging. His pain is real and his need for community is pure.
Tony is a terrific supporting character. I adored him. He was a breath of fresh air when all the tensions were high. The dynamic would be so different if he wasn't a part of this.
God, the ending! It was so suspenseful, noble, unrushed, and real. The tie in with the Rusalka was fantastic. Again, Nina was the star!
PLEASE GO READ THIS. It's utterly worth it! My review is sparse because I don't want to spoil anything!!
PS. Please tell me that there are some of you begging for a sequel?!
I had the distinct pleasure of reading an early copy for a cover quote and I was taken in from page one hook, line and sinker. Expertly researched, perfectly constructed, this is a riveting dual-time periods read. Kate Quinn excels in transporting the reader back in time, without so much as a bump or wrinkle or awkward yank. She's one of the reasons why so many people love historical fiction. If you loved THE ALICE NETWORK, you'll want to grab this one when it hits bookstore shelves.
The most engrossing portion of this novel centers on Nina who is one of the Soviet Night Witches during WWII. The Night Witches is a moniker for the 588th Night Bomber Regiment consisting of all female members. Since their planes only held two bombs, these night flyers flew more than eight missions per night to harass and precision bomb the German military. Riveting stuff. Nina has a potentially deadly encounter with “The Huntress” and eventually winds up pursuing her with dedicated Nazi Hunters. Nazi hunting proves to be a tedious endeavor with a great deal of painstaking cross referencing lists and working against governments and countries no longer interested in pursuing free Nazis post Nuremberg. The Huntress has committed an atrocity but her reasons are never clear other than that “she likes it.” So, I was left thinking about her motivation. Is she an average German committing the incomprehensible out of Nazi Party zeal or is it simply that her murderous nature is given free reign due to the Nazis being in power? Either way what she does is beyond monstrous.
A journalist, a lawyer and a Russian woman pilot are teaming up to find the one of the ruthless, dangerous Nazi war criminal Huntress to bring back the justice. This is breathtaking, compulsive, fantastic journey with amazing and memorable characters.
My all time favorites are Nina Markova curses like a sailor, flies like a bird in the air, powerful, vivid, feverish, fearless pilot. She is a great portrait of a night witch hunter!
And Jordan, young but so smart, talented photographer,50’s version of Nancy Drew!
It’s a great combination of historical thriller and romance genres! I always adore the books with strong, disobedient heroines!
And also the villain, huntress who was a great portrait of relentless, merciless, cold blooded child killer Annalise gave me so much creeps. She was depicted so real, so naturally that makes you think you’re reading a biography about real-time war criminal.
Don’t forget the satisfying, exciting finale reminds you of old Hitchcock spy/ thriller movies!
So happy to read this book and can’t wait to read Alice Network and other books of this author.
"They called her die Jagerin-the Huntress. She was the young mistress of an SS officer in German-occupied Poland, the hostess of grand parties on the lake, a keen shot. Perhaps she was the rusalka the lake was named for-a lethal, malevolent water spirit."
Here lies Chelsea, dead from a book slump brought on by The Huntress, because for once the hype lived up to my expectations and the book's execution. I'm not an avid reader of historical fiction, and in the past year I decided that I was taking a break from WWII fiction, due to the saturation and burnout I was feeling in the genre, but this is mostly post WWII fiction, so it doesn't count. Right? RIGHT. After seeing so many rave review surrounding The Hunty, I was cautiously optimistic that this would be an enjoyable read, but friends, this was a mind-blowing masterpiece.
"Lake Rusalka: a lake in Poland named for a creature of the night, and during the darkest years of the war, a woman lived on her shores far more fearful than any witch who crawled from a lake's depths."
The beauty of this novel is that it carries a powerful current of suspense without masquerading as a whodunnit. You know from the very beginning who has done what, but the format in which the author chooses to let the story unfold is profound, intoxicating, and dare I say more efficient than if she had tried to make any of the reveals embedded in the characters's identities. Multiple POVs, three to be exact, keep the pace moving quickly, and we are given bits of information from each angle, which plays out to be a beautiful weaving of many lives affected by a single monster of a woman. Not only are we privy to this tangling of fates, but inserted we have rich development of the hunting team and well as lush, atmospheric descriptions of the multiple settings, past and present.
"What about the Huntress? She vanished at the war's end. She was not worth pursuing-a woman with the blood of only a dozen or so on her hands, when there were the murderers of millions to be found. There were many like her-small fish, not worth catching. Where will they go? Where did she go? And will anyone take up the hunt?"
Of the many fabulous characters, Nina was my favorite protagonist, and that's a tough choice because they were all wonderfully flawed. But Nina, oh Nina, that woman has my heart. Talk about a complex, strong female who has no patience for laziness, yet shows her vulnerabilities in her own ways. I also felt that the character of the Huntress was one of the better villains I've read to date, and quite possibly the most excellent female monsters to grace the pages of a novel. Die Jagerin is truly a monster, but Quinn has given her so many dimensions and, most importantly, she has given her a horrific cause that she believes in with every fiber of her being. The moments she crafts between her and the other characters, especially Jordan, give an unsettling conflict that causes the reader to wrestle with the Huntress's disgusting "calling" and her humanity, emotion, and weakness. When an author can cause me to stop and ponder my feelings toward a monster, that is the telling of an excellent story.
Fellow readers, I highly recommend you pick this one up, even if you aren't traditionally a fan of historical fiction. This one reads much more like a thriller; the beginning sets the stage and carries forth with an initial slow burn that develops into a full-blown compulsive page turner. I can see that this will easily be one of the top 10 novels of 2019 that I read, as it checked all the boxes for me, and I hope if you choose to read it as well, that you'll acquire your own precious experience with these characters.
*I received a review copy via the publisher.
4.5 stars rounded up!
Ian, Tony, and Nina join forces to track the Huntress. Nina was a Russian Bomber Pilot. The Huntress was a Nazi War criminal. In the aftermath of the war Hunter becomes the hunted.
Nina gambled everything to join the Night Witches, which is an all female night bomber regiment wrecking havoc on Hitler's eastern front. But when she is thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.
Jordan McBride is seventeen years old and grows up in Post WWII Boston. She is determined to become a photographer. Her father brings home a fiance and Jordan thinks that she is hiding something. Jordan has to look into her past and what she finds may threaten all she holds dear. She realizes that there are mysteries buried deep.
This was a historical fiction novel and I just love this genre. I loved the descriptions of the 1940's and 1950's Era and felt like I was there. The author did a great job researching this.
I loved the author's writing style. I loved The Night Witches and the bonding of the sisters. They were bad asses. I fell in love with the characters. They were so well developed. I thought the author brought them to life. I loved the dynamics.
My favorite character was Nina. She was bold, reckless, daring and very brave. She feared nothing. I also loved the Rusalka. The huntress was a monster. She was just plain evil and a mystery. She was also a coward. I loved the revenge against her. It was just so clever. I loved Jordan too.
I just loved the ending. It was just amazing. It was gripping, nailbiting, and so suspenseful. My heart was pounding and I had to come up for air. Wow!
I can't wait to read The Alice Network!
This was a Traveling Sister Read and it was a great and fun discussion.
I want to thank Netgalley, William Morrow, and Kate Quinn for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.