The best fiction novels set in World War 2

Cristina Loggia Author Of Lucifer's Game: An Emotional and Gut-Wrenching World War II Spy Thriller
By Cristina Loggia

The Books I Picked & Why

The Key to Rebecca

By Ken Follett

The Key to Rebecca

Why this book?

This is my top favourite when it comes to choosing a World War 2 spy novel. I read it several times and I never get tired of it. I adored the exotic setting and the colourful cast of characters that feel authentic and so intriguing, for they are all flawed to a certain degree and yet they pursue what, in their view, is the greater good. Follett manages to make the reader care for every single one of them, and that’s what I absolutely love about this writer.

This is a book that also gives a better understanding of what World War 2 was like in the heat of North Africa and is rich in accurate historical details. The rotation of the points of view make it fun to read and the innumerable twists and turns keep you engaged at all time. An edge-of-seat, definitely unbeatable classic by this master storyteller.


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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Why this book?

This is a novel about the trials of the people living in the Channel Islands, set in Guernsey, namely, during the German occupation in World War 2. Written in the form of an epistolary, it is the debut and only novel by Mary Ann Shaeffer, an American author who died of cancer just a few months before its publication. It is beautifully written and what is particularly remarkable in my opinion is how the author managed to inject humour, a touch of romance, real drama, and the horrors of prisoners’ camps, all contributing to perfectly depict the extraordinary atmosphere and events of the only corner of the British isles that the Third Reich successfully invaded. A gem that oozes in originality.


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The Unlikely Spy

By Daniel Silva

The Unlikely Spy

Why this book?

The author clearly did a great deal of research for this book, and this is certainly something I truly love in this World War 2 novel: it provides that solid and rich actual background against which the story is set. It is fascinating to see how both the Nazis and the Allies were playing a game of deception, trying to outmanoeuvre and outsmart each other. The writing is very good, the characters are complex, all with their flaws, all very interesting indeed, all feeling very credible, real. An engaging spy thriller that remains one of my favourite in this genre.


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V2: A Novel of World War II

By Robert Harris

V2: A Novel of World War II

Why this book?

This is a novel that feels like a journalistic reportage, as it is almost factual in the way it is crisply written and for the accuracy of the historical detail the author injected in his story. I liked the exploration of the moral and ethical dilemma that German scientists faced in the development of the V2 rocket technology. Suspenseful and fascinating, with credible characters, Robert Harris masterfully depicts the two sides of the story in a well-paced page-turner that makes an informative, engrossing, and interesting read.


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Hornet Flight

By Ken Follett

Hornet Flight

Why this book?

Another great thriller by Follett, what I found different and interesting for this book was the setting, Nazi-occupied Denmark during World War 2. The mixing of fictional and historical events is well accomplished. Typical of Follett, the novel presents intertwining stories in an adept way that builds tension throughout. It is very well researched and the places really come to life. I loved the abundance of technical details that don’t feel overwhelming, though. With memorable, strong characters, all determined to reach their goals, the writer did a great job in placing them into a well portrayed, true-life context. I loved the spinning swirl of actions that accompany the reader until the very end.


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