In Farleigh Field

by Rhys Bowen

After finishing The Tuscan Child, I quickly purchased ‘In Farleigh Field’. Another World War Novel by Rhys Bowen.

The Farleigh Place, house of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, becomes the centre of a conspiracy of  World War II when a mysterious officer parachutes in the fields of Farleigh and dies. All he carries with him is a picture of a remote countryside with a number written on it.

This incident makes the concerned authorities suspect of a spy or a traitor living in and around the Farleigh Place.

Who is this man? Why did he land in the Farleigh estate? What does the picture and number mean?

Is there a spy or traitor amongst the members of Farleigh or the villagers?  The book focuses on these questions through the lives of different characters and how their work connects them to the bigger conspiracy.

Pamela Sutton secretly works at Bletchley Park decoding German messages. Margaret Sutton, stuck in Paris and in a relationship with a Count (who is also a revolutionist) is captured by the German Police who coerce her to work as a spy for them. Ben Cresswell a friend of Pamela (and secretly in love with her) is an MI5 agent who is given the task of finding out the mission of the parachutist and the possible spy in Farleigh. Phoebe Sutton a suspicious and extremely clever girl is determined to find out the reason the parachutist landed in Farleigh estate. Jeremy Prescott ( friend of Pamela and Ben) is an RAF pilot who miraculously escapes the German prison.

The book starts slow and is a little tedious at the start but the story builds. After a couple of first chapters, it moves at a good pace. It however, suffers from a weak suspense.

There are some romantic moments interspersed within the story, which are fun to read. And it throws an interesting light on the people working behind the scenes in World War II and their importance in the overall scheme of things. Overall a decent read.

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