Tamar, by Mal Peet, is a story about WWII spy code readers. These guys would parachute into enemy-occupied territories and try to blend in. All the while they would send secret coded messages to help their military commanders to defeat Hitler's army.
Can you imagine having to ride your bike across the farmlands into the city check-gate every week? Knowing one wrong move and you'll be shot and anyone who knew you would be, too? To say these guys were on-edge is putting it lightly.
Agents Tamar and Dart, named for the rivers they landed by, worked together in their spy operation, but would they always be on the same side? Just what happens to the mind under these nail-biting circumstances when days blend into months. When one is stuck in the same tiny room staring at the same wallpaper and living off caffeine pills? When the other has to travel under the watchful eye of the Third Reich? What happens when a beautiful woman is their local contact? Can they protect her while she helps them?
When we visited Philip Reeve, we were actually walking along the Dart river and I kept imagining the parachutes dropping the code readers just like on the cover.
|The Dart river runs between these rolling hills|
|the Tamar River Bridge|
and here we drove over the Tamar river bridge.
The best part about the book Tamar is the twist! I can't tell you any more, but if you love spy stories and love being fooled - you will love Tamar.