100 books like The Gestapo

By Jacques Delarue,

Here are 100 books that The Gestapo fans have personally recommended if you like The Gestapo. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

Larry Enmon Author Of Class III Threat

From my list on spies from a retired secret service agent.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I always wanted to be a Secret Service agent. As an adult, I became one. The job introduced me to the classified and shadowy world of national security. I traveled the globe, working in places I'd only read about in novels and meeting people who seemed like well-written characters from a book. When I was assigned as a liaison agent to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, I attended numerous FBI and CIA schools—even the facility known as The Farm. But through it all, I read! When I retired and had time to think about what I did, I figured I'd try writing.

Larry's book list on spies from a retired secret service agent

Larry Enmon Why did Larry love this book?

I have always been fascinated with WWII war stories, especially those involving intelligence operations.

Double Cross is one of the most unbelievable stories I've ever read. It's a nonfiction book that's so incredible it almost sounds like fiction. The British scored success after success against all the German intelligence services to keep the Germans guessing about dozens of Allied military activities, including the actual site of the D-Day landings.

MI6 might get all the cool James Bond movies made about it, but MI5 was the real star of this book.

By Ben Macintyre,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Double Cross as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

D-Day, 6 June 1944, the turning point of the Second World War, was a victory of arms. But it was also a triumph for a different kind of operation: one of deceit, aimed at convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the 150,000-strong invasion force.

The deception involved every branch of Allied wartime intelligence - the Bletchley Park code-breakers, MI5, MI6, SOE, Scientific Intelligence, the FBI and the French Resistance. But at its heart was the 'Double Cross System', a team of double agents controlled by the secret Twenty Committee, so named because twenty…


Book cover of Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family's Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris

Stew Ross Author Of Where Did They Put the Gestapo Headquarters?-The False War & Vichy: Volume One A Walking Tour of Nazi-Occupied Paris, 1940−1944

From my list on the German occupation of France, 1940−1944.

Why am I passionate about this?

I received my B.S. in geology and spent my career in commercial banking. How did I go from banking to becoming an author? I learned to write as a banker back in the “good old” days when the loan officer had to write their own credit memorandum. I enjoyed it so much I told myself, “One day, I'm going to write a book.” Then I found a book called Walks Through Lost Paris by Leonard Pitt. As my wife and I walked through the streets of Paris, I said, “I can write a book like this.” And so I did. We're about to publish our sixth book in an anticipated series of nine.

Stew's book list on the German occupation of France, 1940−1944

Stew Ross Why did Stew love this book?

Dr. Sumner Jackson and his family lived at 11, avenue Foch, sandwiched between Gestapo interrogation offices. It is an extraordinary story of resistance by the head of the American Hospital and his family. They are caught, interrogated, and ultimately deported to various concentration camps.

The author does an excellent job of outlining the Gestapo hierarchy in Paris and describing the Nazis’ brutal methods. The family was classified as prisoners under the “Nacht und Nebel” program (“Night and Fog”) and Mr. Kershaw introduces you to Hitler’s infamous directive. The book also weaves various resistance icons into the story. These include the SOE agents, Violette Szabó, Noor Inayat Khan, and Francis Suttill.

By Alex Kershaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Avenue of Spies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The best-selling author of The Liberator brings to life the incredible true story of an American doctor in Paris, and his heroic espionage efforts during World War II.

The leafy Avenue Foch, one of the most exclusive residential streets in Nazi-occupied France, was Paris's hotbed of daring spies, murderous secret police, amoral informers, and Vichy collaborators. So when American physician Sumner Jackson, who lived with his wife and young son Phillip at Number 11, found himself drawn into the Liberation network of the French resistance, he knew the stakes were impossibly high. Just down the road at Number 31 was…


Book cover of Colonel Henri's Story: The Memoirs of the German Secret Agent who arrested Odette and Peter Churchill

Stew Ross Author Of Where Did They Put the Gestapo Headquarters?-The False War & Vichy: Volume One A Walking Tour of Nazi-Occupied Paris, 1940−1944

From my list on the German occupation of France, 1940−1944.

Why am I passionate about this?

I received my B.S. in geology and spent my career in commercial banking. How did I go from banking to becoming an author? I learned to write as a banker back in the “good old” days when the loan officer had to write their own credit memorandum. I enjoyed it so much I told myself, “One day, I'm going to write a book.” Then I found a book called Walks Through Lost Paris by Leonard Pitt. As my wife and I walked through the streets of Paris, I said, “I can write a book like this.” And so I did. We're about to publish our sixth book in an anticipated series of nine.

Stew's book list on the German occupation of France, 1940−1944

Stew Ross Why did Stew love this book?

I recommend this book to any “hard core” student of the German occupation of Paris. It is written by the Abwehr’s spy master assigned to track down and arrest foreign agents and French résistants operating in Paris. It was said that Bleicher could identify a foreign agent or résistant from a long distance. Bleicher was responsible for shutting down the Interallié network and SOE’s most productive circuit, Prosper.

While an interesting read, the reader must be cautioned. This is a memoir based on ten-year-old memories. Second, there is no independent research and much of this information remained classified until the 1990s. It might be best to have a good knowledge of the history of the occupation in Paris before reading Bleicher’s book.

By Hugo Bleicher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Colonel Henri's Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Double Agent Victoire: Mathilde Carré and the Interallié Network

Stew Ross Author Of Where Did They Put the Gestapo Headquarters?-The False War & Vichy: Volume One A Walking Tour of Nazi-Occupied Paris, 1940−1944

From my list on the German occupation of France, 1940−1944.

Why am I passionate about this?

I received my B.S. in geology and spent my career in commercial banking. How did I go from banking to becoming an author? I learned to write as a banker back in the “good old” days when the loan officer had to write their own credit memorandum. I enjoyed it so much I told myself, “One day, I'm going to write a book.” Then I found a book called Walks Through Lost Paris by Leonard Pitt. As my wife and I walked through the streets of Paris, I said, “I can write a book like this.” And so I did. We're about to publish our sixth book in an anticipated series of nine.

Stew's book list on the German occupation of France, 1940−1944

Stew Ross Why did Stew love this book?

I recommend this book because it introduces the reader to one of the first organized resistance networks in Paris. As a double agent, Mathilde Carré (nom de guerre: Victoire) was also known as “The Cat.” She was ultimately responsible for the arrest of hundreds of Interallié agents (including her boss, Roman Czerniawski).

This book has it all. The author weaves the stories of collaborationists (e.g., Bonny-Lafont), SOE double agents (e.g., Henri Déricourt), and Abwehr spy catchers (e.g., Hugo Bleicher) around intricate counter-intelligence plots involving British and German spy agencies. You will meet Czerniawski again as he became a double agent after his arrest by the Germans and worked for the Allies in Operation Double Cross. It’s a great foundation to begin your study of the resistance movement in Paris.

By David Tremain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Double Agent Victoire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mathilde Carre, notoriously known as La Chatte, was remarkable for all the wrong reasons. Like most spies she was temperamental, scheming and manipulative - but she was also treacherous. A dangerous mix, especially when combined with her infamous history of love affairs - on both sides. Her acts of treachery were almost unprecedented in the history of intelligence, yet her involvement in the 'Interallie affair' has only warranted a brief mention in the accounts of special operations in France during the Second World War. But what motivated her to betray more than 100 members of the Interallie network, the largest…


Book cover of Code Name Camille: A story of trust, love and betrayal

Beth Haslam Author Of Fat Dogs and French Estates, Part 1

From my list on set in France to inspire and excite the imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love affair with France began years ago with a holiday to St Malo. Since then, it’s been hard to stay away. Luckily, my husband felt the same way and eventually, we decided to buy a country estate in the rural southwest. Today, I write about our wacky lives here, how we refurbished our home and came to live with so many animals. We’re immersed in a quirky farming community that lives in harmony with the seasons. Honestly? Nothing much has altered for the past thirty years. It’s magical. Oh, and when we have time, we’ll explore our locality. We still have so much here to discover.

Beth's book list on set in France to inspire and excite the imagination

Beth Haslam Why did Beth love this book?

A novel set in Nazi-occupied France during World War 2? It promised to be gripping. It was.

I was quickly immersed in an oppressive environment where French citizens’ lives are strictly controlled. For many, it is a living nightmare. Failure to toe the line leads to often harrowing consequences.

This is the story of a courageous young woman who refuses to give in. She moves to Paris, where she joins the Resistance movement. Here, she is pushed to the limits of her resolve as she faces extreme danger.

Throughout, the author paints a superb picture of the period. Balanced by historical facts, the plot unfolds with vivid imagery. It is a compelling adventure with a catch that grabs the reader’s imagination. 

By Kathryn Gauci,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Code Name Camille as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the USA Today runaway bestseller, The Darkest Hour Anthology: WWII Tales of Resistance.
Code Name Camille, now a standalone book.

1940: Paris under Nazi occupation. A gripping tale of resistance, suspense and love.

When the Germans invade France, twenty-one-year-old Nathalie Fontaine is living a quiet life in rural South-West France. Within months, she heads for Paris and joins the Resistance as a courier helping to organise escape routes. But Paris is fraught with danger. When several escapes are foiled by the Gestapo, the network suspects they are compromised.

Nathalie suspects one person, but after a chance encounter with a…


Book cover of Code Name Verity

Katherine Marsh Author Of The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine

From my list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not only have I written six critically acclaimed novels for middle-grade readers, including three historical fictions, I am the parent of a tween and teen who is always looking for great read-alouds and read-alongs for my own family. I am a firm believer that this is a valuable way to encourage literacy and love of story as I wrote in a recent, much-discussed essay in The Atlantic. Having lived abroad, including as an exchange student and camper in the Soviet Union and for three years in Belgium, I am also a huge believer in expanding our own as well as our kids’ knowledge of history beyond our own borders, cultures, identities, and perspectives. 

Katherine's book list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers

Katherine Marsh Why did Katherine love this book?

Elizabeth Wein’s young adult novel about female friends and aviators during World War II has a jaw-dropping twist.

But it’s also a fabulous introduction to both the larger war-time history—including in England and France--and the history of women in aviation and military/ intelligence roles.

This story is a great choice for families with girls, who get to see themselves as heroines, fighters, and adventurers—roles traditionally reserved for male protagonists.

By Elizabeth Wein,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Code Name Verity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

'I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.'

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, Code Name Verity is a bestselling tale of friendship and courage set against the backdrop of World War Two.

Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a special operations executive. When a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France, she is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in…


Book cover of The White Rabbit: The Secret Agent the Gestapo Could Not Crack

Brian Lett Author Of Ian Fleming and SOE’s Operation Postmaster

From my list on history about real secret agents.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started writing military history out of anger—a national newspaper had published an obituary of one of our SAS heroes, and it had wrongly defamed a deceased Italian partisan as a traitor. The newspaper published my letter of correction, but only on its website. It mattered to me that the record should be put straight, and therefore I wrote my first book. In researching that book, I discovered links that led me to Operation Postmaster, and after that, I caught the researcher's bug. As an experienced criminal lawyer, evaluating evidence has always been one of my skills, and sometimes "building" a book is very similar to building a case for the defence or prosecution.  

Brian's book list on history about real secret agents

Brian Lett Why did Brian love this book?

First published in 1952, this remains an epic tale of an SOE secret agent in France – Squadron Leader Forest Frederick Edward Yeo-Thomas. Yeo-Thomas had worked in France before the war and spoke fluent French. When World War Two broke out, he joined the RAF and was later recruited by SOE. He parachuted a number of times into France to help establish the resistance there and was eventually captured, imprisoned, and brutally tortured. Miraculously, he escaped from Buchenwald Concentration Camp and found his way back into Allied hands. He survived the war.

By Bruce Marshall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The White Rabbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Lacombe Lucien: The Screenplay

Helen Martin Author Of Lot: Travels Through a Limestone Landscape in Southwest France

From my list on the Lot department of Southwest France.

Why am I passionate about this?

A francophile and a researcher. I ran the research department of The Guardian newspaper for many years. I decided to write my book after it became apparent that there were no English language guidebooks devoted to the Lot alone (and not many in French either). I have been travelling all over France since I was a child in the 50s and discovered the Lot, en route to Spain, in about 1956. I have visited every year since. Pretty well all my interests in life are centred around my passion for this area, but extend beyond it -- history, ecclesiastical architecture, vernacular architecture of Quercy, gastronomy, cave art, the Resistance.

Helen's book list on the Lot department of Southwest France

Helen Martin Why did Helen love this book?

Louis Malle was one of the first film directors to demythologise de Gaulle’s spin that most of France was engaged in resistance to the Nazis. Lacombe Lucien was set in the Lot, Malle’s adoptive home, and he asked for the help of Modiano, Nobel Literary prize winner, to write the screenplay.

Lucien, too young to join the fierce if small Lot Resistance, dropped accidentally into the hands of the Gestapo instead, and through them met and fell for the cultured Jewish Parisienne, France Horn. A strange pairing of young people whose different lives had been interrupted by war, they fled both the Gestapo and the Resistance, hiding from a troubled world in the wilds of the causse, where Lucien, the peasant boy, was in his element. There they blissfully awaited the inevitable.

By Louis Malle, Patrick Modiano, Sabine Destrée (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lacombe Lucien as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Patrick Modiano and Louis Malle’s screenplay for the Oscar-nominated film tells a powerful story set in World War II France of a seventeen-year-old boy who allies himself with collaborators, only to fall in love with a Jewish girl
                  
This early work by the Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano relates the story of Lucien Lacombe: a poor boy in Nazi-occupied France who, rebuffed in his efforts to enter the Resistance for a taste of war, becomes a member of a sordid, pathetic group of Fascist collaborators who join the Gestapo in preying upon their countrymen. Lucien encounters the Horns, a Jewish…


Book cover of The Vanished Collection

Lilianne Milgrom Author Of L'Origine: The Secret Life of the World's Most Erotic Masterpiece

From my list on France that go beyond the rom com.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Paris-born, award-winning artist and author. Although I have lived on four continents, France is in my blood and draws me back time and again. It’s no surprise that countless novels are set in France – and Paris in particular. My debut historical fiction L’Origine: The secret life of the world’s most erotic masterpiece marries my three passions – History (I majored in French history), Art, and Literature. I'm the recipient of six literary honors and my freelance articles and blog posts can be found on platforms such as HuffPost, France Magazine, DailyArt Magazine, Bonjour Paris, The Book Commentary, and BookBrunch. I hope you enjoy the eclectic range of books on my recommended list!

Lilianne's book list on France that go beyond the rom com

Lilianne Milgrom Why did Lilianne love this book?

Pauline Baer de Perignon doesn’t hold anything back – she puts her ego aside as she shares her secret ambitions, doubts and insecurities, triumphs and frustrations on her mission to uncover a distressing chapter in her family’s history. The rhythm and pace are indicative of a book translated from the French - a slow-moving train rather than a speeding locomotive, but that just enhanced the feeling of accompanying the author on her passionate yet painful quest in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

By Pauline Baer de Perignon, Natasha Lehrer (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Vanished Collection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A charming and heartfelt story about war, art, and the lengths a woman will go to find the truth about her family.

'As devourable as a thriller... Incredibly moving' Elle
'Pauline Baer de Perignon is a natural storyteller - refreshingly honest, curious and open' Menachem Kaiser
'A terrific book' Le Point

It all started with a list of paintings. There, scribbled by a cousin she hadn't seen for years, were the names of the masters whose works once belonged to her great-grandfather, Jules Strauss: Renoir, Monet, Degas, Tiepolo and more. Pauline Baer de Perignon knew little to nothing about Strauss,…


Book cover of The White Mouse: The autobiography of Australia's Wartime Legend

Clare Harvey Author Of The Escape

From my list on WW2 memoirs by brave and remarkable women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m endlessly fascinated by the stories of young women from the WW2 era, who came of age at the moment the world was torn apart. As an author of wartime historical fiction with strong female characters, it’s vital for me to understand the experience of ordinary women who grew up in such extraordinary times, so I’m always on the hunt for real voices from the era. I’d love to think that in similar circumstances I’d face my challenges with the same humour, resourcefulness, bravery, and humanity as my favourite five female memoirists selected for you here.

Clare's book list on WW2 memoirs by brave and remarkable women

Clare Harvey Why did Clare love this book?

Some wartime memoirs are fascinating because they detail the lives of ordinary women in extraordinary times. But Nancy Wake was never ordinary. Brave, beautiful, and bull-headed, this feisty Australian worked undercover for the British Secret Operations Executive (SOE) in occupied France, leading French resistance fighters in sabotage missions against the Nazis. Nicknamed ‘The White Mouse’ by the Gestapo, Nancy was a key player in the Resistance, earning herself a clutch of medals after the war, including France’s Legion d’Honneur. There are plenty of biographies about this remarkable woman, but I recommend this, because it’s in her own words, and to me, that’s what makes it a special read.

By Nancy Wake,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The White Mouse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nancy Wake, nicknamed 'the white mouse' for her ability to evade capture, tells her own story. As the Gestapo's most wanted person, and one of the most highly decorated servicewomen of the war, it's a story worth telling.

After living and working in Paris in the 1930's, Nancy married a wealthy Frenchman and settled in Marseilles. Her idyllic new life was ended by World War II and the invasion of France. Her life shattered, Nancy joined the French resistance and, later, began work with an escape-route network for allied soldiers. Eventually Nancy had to escape from France herself to avoid…


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Interested in the Gestapo, Nazi occupied France, and France?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Gestapo, Nazi occupied France, and France.

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