Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The War Photographers Tour and Giveaway


A gripping historical novel with a dual timeline linking World War II and the Cold War and one woman’s search for the traitor who betrayed her family. Perfect for fans of The Rose Code.

The War Photographers

by SL Beaumont

Genre: Historical Fiction

She will risk everything to expose the truth

1943 – Bletchley Park, England

Mae Webster, immersed in the clandestine world of codebreaking at Bletchley Park, is recruited to help unveil a spy who’s on the brink of exposing Britain's most guarded secret: the cracking of the Enigma code. As war rages around her, Mae's life takes an unexpected turn when she falls in love with the enigmatic New Zealand war photographer Jack Knight. Their relationship develops at pace, but tragedy strikes when one of Jack's photographs risks unmasking an elusive double agent.

1989 – Berlin, Germany

Rachel Talbot, a globetrotting photojournalist, ventures into the heart of a fractured Berlin in search of the Stasi officer whom her beloved grandmother Mae blames for betraying their family. Rachel finds herself entangled in the East German uprising and is irresistibly drawn to a charismatic activist. As the Cold War threatens to boil over, Rachel races to expose a traitor before it’s too late.

Perfect for fans of The Rose Code.

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Paris, France

November 23, 1944

Jack Knight had witnessed some horrific sights in four years as a war photographer, but nothing prepared him for the surreal scene he was about to encounter. After a day of capturing images of a newly liberated Paris, Jack was strolling back to his room at the Hotel Scribe when the hackles rose on the back of his neck. Following his instincts, he deviated from his path and turned down a side street. As always, his trusty Leica rested against his chest, secured by a worn leather strap wound across his body. A significant proportion of Jack's war had been viewed through this camera lens, and several of his award-winning images had featured in newspapers worldwide. 

Jack found the source of his unease when he rounded the corner into a cobbled square overlooked by apartment buildings still displaying the vestiges of war; pockmarked, chipped brickwork, cracked windows and flaking paintwork. In the square’s centre, a fountain stood empty, blackened and dirty from years of neglect. On the far side, chairs and small tables were clustered beneath a faded red awning, where an aproned waiter was serving small glasses of pastis to his handful of customers. The bodies of two men swung from a pair of lamp posts. Their mouths hung open as if in disbelief at the manner of their deaths, their tongues distended and black. Their distorted and swollen faces spoke of a sustained beating before their demise. A scrap of paper with the word ‘collaborateur’ was pinned to each of their chests.

Nauseated, Jack dragged his gaze away. Wearing worn, patched clothing, a group of women stood to one side clutching shopping baskets and conversing in rapid French, seeming to ignore the grotesque sight. Small children ran around their mothers' legs, playing chase, giggling, and squealing, showing remarkable resilience to a childhood marred by the violence and fear of recent years. Jack raised his camera and captured the juxtaposition of the laughing children and the legs of the hanging men. Two older men sat at an outdoor table a few doors along, their chess game abandoned as they viewed the corpses, openly pointing and discussing some aspect. This, too, Jack photographed before hearing the whistle of an approaching gendarmerie. He slipped away unnoticed.

It might have seemed harsh, but the French people had their way of dealing with collaborators, those who'd profited from the war or had done nothing to stop the brutality of the Germans against their people. And retribution had been swift. Jack had heard stories of the French mistresses of German officers having their heads shaved, stripped naked, and marched through the streets.

Jack took several more turns before realising that he was a little lost. The sun was setting, and there was still a curfew, so he needed to hurry. He knew the general direction of his hotel and continued walking until he found, with some relief, that the paved street he was on led to the rear of the building. He was about to cross to the opposite side when he spotted two men in the shadows by the kitchen entrance. He recognised one of the men and went to call out, but something in their body language caused him to hesitate.

He watched as they shook hands and murmured a few words before checking their surroundings. Jack crept forward, keeping to the shadows of the shuttered shopfronts, and watched as his acquaintance pulled an envelope from the inside pocket of his overcoat and passed it to the other man. Jack raised his camera. Click. The man took the envelope and looked over his shoulder, a look of fear on his face. Click

"Do Svidaniya."

Jack lowered his camera in disbelief and watched the two men part. The man he knew, hands thrust in his pockets, strolled, whistling, down the side of the hotel towards the main entrance in forced nonchalance. The other man hurried in the opposite direction, swallowed by the shadows.

Jack leaned against the shop wall, a sick feeling in his gut, and wondered why someone he knew and trusted had just had a clandestine meeting with a Soviet.

SL Beaumont is an award-winning mystery and crime writer with a passion for travel and history.

She lives in beautiful New Zealand, which is only problematic when the travel bug bites (which it does fairly often)! Her love of travel has seen her take many long-haul flights to various parts of the world. Her enjoyment of history helps determine the destination, and the places she visits are a constant source of inspiration for her.

Prior to becoming an author, SL Beaumont worked in banking in London and New York and is now a partner of a chartered accounting firm in Auckland.

Shadow of Doubt won the 2020 Indie Reader Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Award and was long-listed for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel. Death Count was a semi-finalist for the Publisher’s Weekly BookLife Prize.

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon giftcard, 

ebook of The War Photographers 

-1 winner each! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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