The Huntress (Paperback)
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062740373, 560pp.
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
March 2019 Indie Next List
— Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
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Instant New York Times Bestseller!
"...compulsively readable historical fiction…[a] powerful novel about unusual women facing sometimes insurmountable odds with grace, grit, love and tenacity.” - Kristin Hannah, The Washington Post
One of Marie Claire's Best Women’s Fiction Books of the Year
One of BookBub's Biggest Books of the Year
“If you enjoyed “The Tattooist of Auschwitz,” read “The Huntress,” by Kate Quinn." The Washington Post
From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, THE ALICE NETWORK, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.
In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…
Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.
Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.
Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.
In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth.
About the Author
Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network and The Huntress. All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with two rescue dogs.
Praise For The Huntress: A Novel…
— Kristin Hannah, Washington Post
“Quinn deftly braids the stories of a female Russian bomber pilot, Nazi hunters, and a young Bostonian girl staring down evil in the most unthinkable of places. The result is a searing tale of predator and prey, transgression and redemption and the immutable power of the truth. An utter triumph!”
— Pam Jenoff, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Orphan’s Tale
“Prepare to be spellbound! The Huntress masterfully draws you in and doesn’t let you go. Another brilliant work of historical fiction by the incomparable Kate Quinn.”
— Susan Meissner, bestselling author of As Bright as Heaven
“The Huntress left me breathless with delight... Kate Quinn has created nothing less than a masterpiece of historical fiction.”
— Jennifer Robson, bestselling author of Goodnight from London
“[A] complexly structured saga delivers exciting aerial sequences and intrigue worthy of a Hitchcock movie. The book’s psychological and dramatic elements combine for a powerful and satisfying finale. To paraphrase one of the characters, Ms. Quinn’s book is “dynamite in print.”
— Wall Street Journal
“An impressive historical novel sure to harness WWII-fiction fans’ attention... Laced with Russian folklore allusions and deliciously witty banter, Quinn’s tale refreshingly avoids contrived situations while portraying three touching, unpredictable love stories; the suspenseful quest for justice; and the courage involved in confronting one’s greatest fears.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“Readers should expect to give up weekend plans once they start this novel. A great choice for historical fiction fans, particularly of World War II–set novels, mystery readers, or anyone seeking well-crafted stories in which good triumphs over evil.”
— Library Journal (starred review)
“Well-researched and vivid segments are interspersed detailing Nina’s backstory... a fierce yet vulnerable antecedent to Lisbeth Salander. Quinn’s language is evocative of the period, and her characters are good literary company. With any luck, the Nazi hunting will go on for a sequel or two.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Quinn delivers a suspenseful WWII tale of murder and revenge. This exciting thriller vividly reveals how people face adversity and sacrifice while chasing justice and retribution.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Gripping historical fiction”
— Good Housekeeping
“If you like period dramas, thrillers, female-fronted sagas, or all three, you’ll want to pre-order your copy soon.”
— Marie Claire
“An intense and enthralling mystery. Meticulously researched…the texture and depth that is offered to the world Quinn’s characters inhabit make for an engrossing tale. In The Huntress Kate Quinn has created a gripping and elegant historical mystery— this one is not to be missed!”
“The Huntress reads like the best World War II fiction. [An] engrossing, suspenseful, and authentic book to give you a new perspective on women, war, and the wheels of justice.”
“The author of the bestselling book The Alice Network is back with another engrossing (and deliciously long) novel...lots of threads means only one thing: lots of twists.”
— Refinery 29
“Quinn’s narrative is full of suspense. Expertly plotted, with questions of justice at its center, The Huntress is a dark, riveting account of war, revenge and deep human compassion in the face of both”
— Shelf Awareness
“It is brilliantly paced and impossible to put down.”
— Mystery Scene
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. All the characters begin the book standing on different lake shores—Nina at Lake Baikal, Anneliese at Altaussee, Jordan at Selkie Lake, and Ian at the lake in Cologne. Nina and the Huntress clash for the first time at Lake Rusalka in Poland, and everyone comes together ultimately at the lake in Massachusetts. Discuss how the idea of the lake, and the rusalka lake spirit, weaves through The Huntress as a theme.
2. Ian states that the life of a Nazi hunter is about patience, boredom, and factchecking, not high-speed glamour and action. Do you agree with him? What preconceptions did you have about Nazi hunters?
3. Jordan’s drive to become a photographer clashes with the expectations of her father—and almost everyone else she knows—that she will marry her high school boyfriend, work in the family business, and relegate picture-snapping to a hobby. How have expectations of career versus marriage changed for women since 1950?
4. The Night Witches earn their nickname from the Germans, who find their relentless drive on bombing runs terrifying, but the men on their own side haze them, mock them, and call them “little princesses.” How does prejudice and misogyny drive the 15 women of the Forty-Sixth to succeed? Did you know anything about the Night Witches before reading The Huntress?
5. Nina calls herself a savage because of her early life in the wilds around the lake with her murderous, unpredictable father. How did her upbringing equip her to succeed, first as a bomber pilot and then as a fugitive on the run? Does her outsider status make her see Soviet oppression more clearly than Yelena, who accepts it as the way things should be?
6. When Jordan first brings up suspicions about her stepmother at Thanksgiving, her theories are quashed by Anneliese’s plausible explanations. Did you believe Anneliese’s story at Thanksgiving, or Jordan’s instinct? When did you realize that Jordan’s stepmother and die Jägerin were one and the same?
7. “The ends justify the means.” Ian disagrees strongly, maintaining he will not use violence to pursue war criminals. Nina, on the other hand, has no problem employing violent methods to reach a target, and Tony stands somewhere between them on the ideological scale. How do their beliefs change as they work together? Who do you think is right?
8. Ian and Nina talk about lakes and parachutes, referencing the bad dreams and postwar baggage that inevitably come to those who have gone to war. How do Ian and Tony deal with their post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor guilt, as opposed to Nina and the Night Witches?
9. Throughout The Huntress, war criminals attempt to justify their crimes: Anneliese tells Jordan she killed as an act of mercy, and several witnesses tell Ian they were either acting under orders or ignorant of what was happening. Why do they feel the need to justify their actions, even if only to themselves? Do you think any of them are aware deep down that they committed evil acts, or are they all in denial?
10. Jordan sincerely comes to love Anneliese, who is not just her stepmother but her friend. After learning the truth about Anneliese’s past, Jordan is perturbed that she cannot simply switch off her affection for the one person who encouraged her to chase her dreams. How do you think you would react if you found out a beloved family member was a murderer and a war criminal?
11. In the final confrontation at Selkie Lake, the team is able to capture Anna instead of killing her or allowing her to commit suicide, and she later faces a lifetime in prison for war crimes. Were you satisfied with her fate, or do you wish she had paid a higher price for her actions?
12. By the end of The Huntress, Jordan has found success as a photographer, Tony is a human rights attorney, and Ian and Nina are still hunting war criminals. Where do you see the team in ten years? Do you think Ian and Nina will remain married, or will Nina find a way back to Yelena, her first love? Do you think Jordan and Tony will stay together, or drift apart as friends? What about Ruth?