I picked this book for the Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, as it involves espionage. Only after reading it, I know it is more of a romance than anything else.
Sylvia Peydell encounters her one time love, Jan Brovic after six years. Sylvia has been married to Payton, a Washington diplomat, and after her brief fling with Jan she had decided to stay faithful to Payton. Now the appearance of Jan after all these years creates conflict in her. But as she learns truth about her husband, will she stay with him? Jan is on a mission from Czechoslovakia. This story takes place in 1950s in the early years of the Cold War. He wants Sylvia to trust him. He is pretending to be a communist only to find passage to U.S. and hopes to find asylum in U.S and win back Sylvia's love. Is Jan telling the truth? Or is he a communist just playing with Sylvia to find information? Somebody had leaked information to the Czechoslovakia, who leaked it and why?
The story is mostly told from the point of view of Kate, a cousin of Sylvia who moves to Washington from a ranch in San Francisco. It is interesting how Kate's view of Payton changes. There is some suspense, some mystery, but that's just it. It is really very hard for me to buy into a cold war story. The real question is rather moot for me. Does it really matter if Jan is a Communist? What if he is? Communists are not exactly Nazi's, are they? Well, I never lived in a communist regime, so what do I know? And also the information leaked is not really a question of national security, it is about a trade treaty to be planned with Czechoslovakia, so what if they knew before time. The story is okay as a romance, but I didn't like the ending either.
This book was first published in 1952 and I borrowed an ebook from Openlibrary.