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SL Beaumont
The War Photographers
SL Beaumont, author
1943 – Bletchley Park, England Mae Webster, immersed in the clandestine world of codebreaking at Bletchley Park, is recruited to help unveil a spy who’s on the brink of exposing Britain's most guarded secret: the cracking of the Enigma code. As war rages around her, Mae's life takes an unexpected turn when she falls in love with the enigmatic New Zealand war photographer Jack Knight. Their relationship develops at pace, but tragedy strikes when one of Jack's photographs risks unmasking an elusive double agent. 1989 – Berlin, Germany Rachel Talbot, a globetrotting photojournalist, ventures into the heart of a fractured Berlin in search of the Stasi officer whom her beloved grandmother Mae blames for betraying their family. Rachel finds herself entangled in the East German uprising and is irresistibly drawn to a charismatic activist. As the Cold War threatens to boil over, Rachel races to expose a traitor before it’s too late.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.50 out of 10


Plot/Idea: The War Photographers, a work of historical fiction with a mystery element, centers on two women living in different time periods, whose lives intriguingly intersect: Mae Webster, a codebreaker in 1943, and her granddaughter Rachel, who is a photographer and activist during the Cold War.

Prose: Beaumont tightly weaves together the two narratives. The prose is clear and generally seamless, allowing readers to become fully immersed in the storytelling.

Originality: Beaumont's level of research and knowledge of the history she recreates is apparent throughout the novel. The War Photographers provides a unique blend of history, mystery, and romance.  

Character/Execution: Mae and Rachel are memorable characters who are nicely distinct from one another. Through the two protagonists, readers gain a fresh perspective and understanding of both WWII and the fall of the Berlin Wall, while the mystery surrounding the death of Jack Knight provides a level of intimacy and intrigue to the broader circumstances. 

Date Submitted: April 12, 2024

IRDA Historical Fiction Award

The War Photographers has won the 2024 Indie Reader Discovery Historical Fiction Award.