Jan Guillou Blue Star is an exciting and entertaining novel that, in most respects, credibly portray the war from the partly rather unknown perspective, writes Johan Werkmäster.
Blue Star – fifth installment in Jan Guillou’s novels The Great Century – set during the war years 1941-1945, the same period in the previous volume of Not wanting to see . But the focus has shifted. The German kindly Lauritz Lauritzen come back and instead placed his daughter Johanne in the center.
She is sworn anti-Nazi, has worked as a courier for the Norwegian Hjemme- front and allowed himself to be enlisted by the British spy organization SOE. Her boss thinks that she is “a dream of every intelligence agency”, a perfect agent; she is a woman, very attractive and speaks three languages (German, Norwegian and Swedish) perfect. Soon, she also works as a spy for both the Swedish and the German intelligence service, in the latter case, however, only illusory.
Johanne often move on the border with occupied Norway, organized violent fritagningar and utsmugglingar Norwegian resistance fighters and Jews to Sweden. In Stockholm, she equipped with military tjänstepessar, seduce and spy on a high German officer.
Guillou also highlights other women, some of them active in Hjemme- front, others recruited by Swedish defense to the prostitution attract from certain men important information. After the war, these women received hardly any recognition at all. “Their efforts förringades and the male soldiers pocketed the medal,” the author writes in an afterword.
Blue Star is a thrilling and entertaining novel that, in most respects, credibly portray war years of partially pretty unfamiliar perspective. But there are also a few things clear fictional elements – when Johanne hits a light disguise Gunnar Ekelöf (called Bengt), with whom she once had a relationship, and now begs for some kind of “therapeutic help.” What then happens is not revealed, but this little story in the great novel shimmers like a light, touching and humorous gem in an otherwise darkened world.