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The Unicorn's Daughter by [Beishir, Norma]
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The Unicorn's Daughter Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Length: 428 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

From Publishers Weekly
Beishir ( Angels at Midnight ) pens a winner with this gripping thriller. Jaime Lynde's father has been missing for 19 years, and when she learns of his covert career in the OSS and the CIA, she becomes convinced that he is alive and his whereabouts concealed for sinister reasons. The plot elements are familiar: obfuscating CIA operatives; an agent who vanishes into deep cover; an elaborate official cover story; and people who begin to die under mysterious circumstances. But Beishir's galloping pace revitalizes these standbys, and she confidently builds to a revelatory and spellbinding finale. And in the midst of all the intrigue, a romance develops for Jaime--but the sex is more slow burn than Beishir's trademark high sizzle, as if Beishir herself was too involved in the moves and countermoves of espionage to concentrate on bedroom dramas. 
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Author

When I was working on this book back in 1986, I'd originally planned to have the climax take place in Amsterdam. As fate would have it, however, President Reagan ordered the air strike on Libya and the the idea of sending my characters into the Middle East seemed a much better option.

Berkley originally published the book as A Time for Legends in 1990, with a lovely cover that didn't really say anything about the story. I got tired of having to say, with great embarrassment, "I have no idea" when people asked what that title meant (thanks, marketing chimps--and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible), so when I regained the rights to it and decided to publish it as an ebook, some changes were in order....

Product Details

  • File Size: 1530 KB
  • Print Length: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Creativia; 3 edition (January 6, 2011)
  • Publication Date: January 6, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00860WC7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,690 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
The Unicorn's Daughter is a sprawling tale, set over several decades between World War Two and the 1980s, using world events as a backdrop. The emotional core of the story, and its greatest strength, is the bond between a father and daughter.

James Lynde starts out the story, signing up for service in the OSS during the war. He serves behind the lines throughout with resistance fighters in occupied Europe, aiding the efforts to overthrow the Nazis, and quickly discovers he's rather good at the work he does. He and his colleagues have codenames drawn from mythology, and his is the Unicorn. He comes through the war in one piece, and gets the opportunity as the Cold War heats up to join the fledgling CIA, doing the same thing he's already been doing, just with a new adversary.

His boss, Harry Warner, warns that he'll have to develop a good cover to move through the new Europe, and he comes across one, marrying into the family of a former senator and going to work in the family investment firm. It gives him a place in society, a reasonable cover, and the opportunity to travel in rough places without excessive scrutiny. Unfortunately he doesn't actually love the woman he married, though he does a good job (at first) of covering it up. A few years into their marriage, his wife Fran gives birth to a daughter, Jaime, who from the start has her father wrapped around her little finger.

Problems arise, of course. Fran becomes depressed and withdrawn, resentful even of her daughter, who's headstrong and stubborn. The state of her marriage and her life leads her to take her own life, an event that weighs heavily on both father and daughter.
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The Unicorn's daughter is Jaime, but the story begins with her father. He worked first for the OSS and after WWII for the CIA. When he takes on a cover of married man with a child, his unhappy wife kills herself but his young daughter adores him. She works to make him proud and waits eagerly for him to come home from his travels.

But one day he leaves and doesn't come back. For years, she thinks he's dead. Then she discovers her aunt and uncle have been lying to her, that her father has been sending letters and packages to her all along. He isn't dead. She's determined to trace down where he is and what happened to him.

The book begins quite slowly, delving into James Lynde's character and life, showing how Jaime's own character is shaped by her father's profession and personality. Then it gets up speed, rushing to the headlong finale where Jaime's about to lose him again.

This isn't a quick read, but it's for anyone who likes to take their time and get to know the characters. There's a love story but it's muted. The relationship between the spy and his daughter takes front and center stage.

A nice story.
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Beishir, Norma. The Unicorn's Daughter. 2nd ed. Beishir Books, 2011. Originally published by Berkley Publishing under the title A Time for Legends 1990.

Jaime Victoria Lynde, photojournalist, sits at dinner tracing her initials on a napkin. The same initials that identify her father. Her mother committed suicide when she was very young, and nineteen years ago her father left on a business trip, and she never heard from him again. She feels that her life has been covered over with a thick blanket of lies and deceit.

Jaime starts to unravel the conundrum and people start dying and she is being followed everywhere. Her father worked with the French Resistance as a part of the OSS and then after the war, he becomes an agent for the CIA. Jaime is convinced that regardless of what she is told that her father is still alive.

She travels a world away from the boarding school and silver spoon life she has known as she seeks out those who knew her father best, The Minotaur, The Pagan... She is the Unicorn's daughter and even falling in love and falling in bed cannot keep her from turning every stone until the truth is uncovered.

Norma Beishir is the author of sixteen novels under her own name and her pseudonyms Toni Collins, Scarlett Martin, and Robin Collins. In 2008 she turned to self-publishing with Chasing the Wind that was "too spiritual for the mainstream, too mainstream for the Christian market." Then, when the rights became available to her for A Time of Legends, she changed the title and the cover which had long dissatisfied her.

The plot is straightforward, but the fully fleshed characters and fast-paced action keep the pages turning. The sex is slow simmer but on stage, the violence is off-stage and the language is mild when compared to most espionage thrillers. Rating PG13-SLV
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The Unicorn’s Daughter is mostly an extended flashback that starts in 1985, as Jaime Lynde prowls Washington, D.C., trying to uncover a conspiracy involving her father and the highest levels of government, all while being closely followed.

The mystery unspools as we flash back to 1942, when soldier James Lynde is picked to be trained for the Office of Strategic Services—America’s first intelligence agency, and a precursor to the CIA. Lynde, a loner and danger junky, takes to the life right away. So much so, in fact, that when the Cold War breaks out he adopts the ultimate cover to help infiltrate the Soviet Union: the globetrotting husband of a rich businessman’s daughter.

Everything’s fine—for him—until he gets a daughter of his own, the first person he’s ever truly loved. But as his double life goes on his marriage falls apart, and in the end his daughter Jaime is a headstrong journalist, and an orphan … or so she’s told.

The heart of the book is Jaime’s refusal to believe her father is who everyone says he is. As she goes on a hunt to find the truth, bodies begin piling up around her, and she becomes a pawn in a game of spy vs. spy. All she wants is the truth, and that’s the one thing nobody wants her to have.

The plot of The Unicorn’s Daughter is straightforward and, although the story dragged for me from time to time, the mystery kept my interest up. Jamie is the picture of stubbornness to a fault, especially to the man who ultimately loves her and those protecting the secrets she seeks to uncover. I especially liked the way the story dovetailed with actual historical events. I don’t read thrillers of this kind all that often, but maybe I should.
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