Review: "Horizontal Collaborator" by Adrianne Sainte-Eve

Review by Danielle

Horizontal Collaborator is the fate of Gabrielle Violette Clary, an illegitimate peasant born in the countryside of France in 1894. WW1 explodes as Violette comes of age, a streetwise Parisienne, scratching out a living as a barmaid in Montmartre. In the midst of war-torn Europe, she finds herself surrounded by a wide variety of characters; some intelligent, worldly people, and some who are merely bizarre. She is presented with an opportunity to work for the French Chief of the Fifth Bureau, who dispatches her to Spain with instructions to infiltrate the German intelligence network. Violette boldly embarks on her adventure to become the mistress of the German Chief of Naval Intelligence, armed only with the brashness of the slums and her extreme naiveté.

Horizontal Collaborator fails to engage its readers’ interest, making it impossible to finish the entire book. While it had an interesting concept, it wasn’t developed properly, which made it unenjoyable to read. Furthermore the way the book starts off by jumping back and forwards with the characters is extremely confusing, as it is hard to figure out which character is actually going to be followed in the novel. Also novels that immediately start with an interesting paragraph or even an interesting chapter are better than ones that lack this, as if the novel doesn’t start interesting readers are unlikely to continue reading it. Horizontal Collaborator definitely has this problem. Unfortunately this book needs some serious improvements, as it has a lot of flaws.