Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Starred Review. In life, at least before the espionage charges, it was Mata Hari's body that made her mesmerizing; in this alluring novel, it is her hypnotic voice. As softly poetic as it is insistent, it entices the reader from the first lines to give Mata Hari what she always craved: not the secrets that are the currency of a spy, but the rapt attention that is oxygen to a performer. Shifting time and perspective, the tale moves among Mata Hari's early childhood in the late 19th-century Netherlands, her years in Java as a caring young mother married to a brutal military man, her glamorous but desperate career as a famed dancer and courtesan and her bleak existence in a Paris prison after her arrest as a spy for Germany during WWI. Murphy (Here They Come) sticks with the true ending to her subject's story, which was death by firing squad, and what makes the novel an unlikely achievement is how Murphy nurtures, before the shots are fired, a potent skepticism about the guilt of a woman whose name even today is synonymous with treachery. In its subdued way, this novel is an eloquent cri de coeur and a belated witness for the defense. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Yannick Murphys novel certainly seduced reviewers, but such seduction may have derived from the authors literary dance rather than from readers inherent interest in the subject. Critics admired Murphys masterful descriptions, shifts in perspectives, and attention to details alternately selected and invented from the real Margaretha Zelles life. The result is a poetic novel that will draw in even those who never thought they would enjoy reading about exotic European espionage. (The case documents will be unsealed in 2017, then revealing whether or not Mata Hari was a spy.) The only consistent criticism of the book was that some of the sex scenes seem more mythological than realbut then again, this is Mata Hari.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
I liked this fictionalized account of Mata Hari's life, as I knew nothing about her before. Murphy uses the trendy technique of flipping back and forth between the past and... Read morePublished on June 4, 2013 by E. Elliott
I like this book very much. I like to read it and lean back and day-dream about what it must have been like to be there living at that point in history.Published on December 28, 2012 by Derek W. Thorn
How awful to be thinking, when you know someone is going to get executed ... get on with it! But that's the way it was. Read morePublished on September 13, 2012 by Bibliophage