Dragonfly by Leila Meacham is a World War II espionage story about five young Americans who are sent on missions in occupied Paris for the Office of Strategic Services. They are recruited by Alistair Renault, an OSS case officer, chief of station for French Affairs. The three men and two women are all fluent speakers of French and/or German and each has special skills necessary for a specific assignment.
The recruits train together even though they will be on their own in Paris. They become instantly bonded. They chose the team name Dragonfly since dragonflies are natural escape artists and good at calculating the best way to catch their prey. The team agrees to meet each other in New York on the first September 23rd after the war and again in Paris, 20 years later. In the first chapter, we learn that four of the five make it home after the war, but we do not know until near the end which one did not make the first reunion.
Once the Dragonfly team arrives in Paris, things immediately start to go astray. There is tension throughout the book about the safety of each member, especially those in close contact with high ranking German officers. Even knowing their compromised situations each operative of Dragonfly wants to stay and continue the fight.
My favorite characters are the ones who reveal that not all Germans supported Hilter. They were decent people who felt betrayed by the Nazi party and did what they could to covertly help the Allies.
There is a large cast of characters. The Dragonfly team has their birth names, code names, and names to be used in their French employment. One member also has a nickname. Fortunately, the front of the book contains a list of these. I found myself referring back to it numerous times.
5-Stars. Book Club Recommended.