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The Resistance: Louis Morgon #4    by Peter Steiner order for
by Peter Steiner
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Resistance is the fourth book in Peter Steiner's series starring CIA operative Louis Morgon, but the first that I have read. The episode opens on an interview with a grim-faced secretary of state, who presents him with a list of charges before he's escorted off the premises. His wife Sarah divorces him and a friend advises him to move to France.

Since nothing else he tries works, he walks through France and buys a fixer-upper in Saint-Leon-sur-DÍme. His renovation work digs up old, intriguing secrets. He hears of the 'moral ambiguities' folk dealt with in wartime (and on which his own CIA career was built) and befriends a French policeman, Jean Renard, whose father was known as a collaborator, while a gendarme during World War II.

Louis finds six crude pistols wrapped in oilcloth (hidden by the Resistance) in a crawl space, and handbills with Renard's name on them. The story then moves back and forth in time to show what people did - to fight back, to survive, to protect others - during a very difficult time. Some of it certainly seemed like collaboration, but was it really?

In the 1940s, we follow the lives of men and women on both sides of the war during the German occupation - and of young gendarme Yves Renard, trying to do his job, but also keeping people as safe as he can from German retribution. His admired teacher had advised him that 'Victory always goes to the patient.' He does his best, but many die.

In the modern day, Louis and Jean Renard solve this very cold case, and discover the truth about someone at a high level in the French government - but can that truth be made known?

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