"This book has been so well researched & covers such an interesting time in Vietnam’s history. Romance, fashion & war.....its all there. What will David Longridge tackle next?"
A Novel of political intrigue, from the glamour of the Paris catwalks to the ravages of war.
Paris Haute Couture is recovering after world war two and Justine Müller, having suffered terribly during that conflict, is now a fashion model. A traumatic experience opens her eyes to the poor and destitute of post-war France and sets her on a new path into politics.
Funding her ambitions by relying on the charity of the wealthy fails. Recruiting the help of a close friend in the fashion house where she works, Justine and her accomplice decide to launch a business as potentially lucrative as it is dangerous.
Thousands of miles away in French Indochina, a terrible struggle is being waged between the French and Vietnamese freedom fighters. Calling on an allegiance of the past, Justine recruits the help of Bill Lomberg, a former RAF pilot now flying contraband between Hanoi and Saigon.
As the Vietnamese family connections of her accomplice in Paris are drawn into the plot, Justine is halted in her tracks by forces that will stop at nothing to protect their interests from outsiders.
Four young people, forced into conflicting allegiances incompatible with the morality of their backgrounds.
Henri's family sends a son from each generation to military college for a commission in the French Foreign Legion. As he fulfils this tradition and the Second World War breaks out, Henri is soon faced with a dilemma which will lead to an adventure few could match in that conflict.
Leo is set on joining Goering's new Luftwaffe. Like Henri, his closest friend at their school in Britain, his mother was born British. Leo's war leads him into the secret world of signals intelligence, while the suspension of the moral law in time of conflict raises issues which he struggles to reconcile with his conscience and the ethics of his upbringing.
Bill is South African, a talented young rugby player at the same school as Henri and Leo, and heads for Cambridge on an RAF scholarship. His ultimate test comes from the least expected direction and a woman who has already suffered terribly.
Elizabeth’s home was Munich until she started her medical training in Paris. Her crucial decision to return to Germany conflicts with the circumstances of her family and the legacy of its past. Alone and threatened, Elisabeth escapes to the deserts of North Africa and the man who will change her life.
Three young women struggle to take possession of a secret that can alter the course of the war.
Working as a courier for an escape line over the Pyrenees early in the Second World War, Françoise is approached by the British Secret Service. Is what they propose, involving leaving her family and entering the lethal game of wartime espionage, reasonable for a young woman only two years after finishing her schooldays in Bordeaux?
Françoise's best friend, Justine, enters the glamorous world of haute couture, which is still thriving in occupied Paris. Justine has a past that, should it be discovered, could mean deportation to the camps in Eastern Europe.
Justine's sister, Claudia, a brilliant mathematician working in Berlin on a top secret project for the German High Command, is faced with the nightmare of betraying her country if she is to save her life.
Powerful and emotional, the close relationships between Françoise, Justine and Claudia are tested by their conflicting wartime allegiances as they struggle to take possession of a secret that can alter the course of the war.
A gripping insight to the contrasts of the Vietnam war and Society in Paris. The first of the trilogy that I read was ‘Silence in the Desert’. It was so compelling that I have now read both the first and this the most recent of the series – none have disappointed.
This episode moves forward from the trials and successes of the second world war to a critical stage of the war in Vietnam against a backdrop of the developing social and political scene in Paris. The insights that the story provides are thought provoking and testament to the extent and detail of the research underpinning all three novels – whilst at the same time reinforcing the story narrative.
David Longridge is a writer with a wealth of experience and success in the real world.
After school he worked for, and became, Chief Executive of Avis International, then second biggest car rental company in the World. That was followed by a long stint in investment banking in the City of London. On retirement, he decided to release his creativity by writing books that were fictional, but in a historical setting of a period he loved.
‘Polka Dots and Moonbeams’ is his third novel, an extraordinary story that flips between the Parisienne fashion houses and the Vietnam War with the French in the 1950s. It was an extraordinary time, at the birth of our modern age, and David catches the mood, ambience, romance and urgency of that period as he did in ‘In Youth, in Fear, in War’ and ‘Silence in the Desert’. Tragedy and joy go hand in hand.
David works from his home in Malmesbury, England, with his wife Anna who is a practising artist. Her work can be found at http://www.annalongridge.com/