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The Collaborators

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  21 reviews

From the bestselling author of the Dalziel and Pascoe series, a superb novel of wartime passion, loyalty – and betrayal

When Janine Simonian was dragged roughly from her cell to face trial as a collaborator in the days of reckoning that followed the liberation of France, she refused to conceal her shaven skull from the jeering crowds that greeted her.

Before the jury of form

Published (first published January 1st 1987)
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  211 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Amalia Gavea
Giving up on this one. I had high expectations, and it started with a punch, but the rest was so bad it was actually laughable. The writing was uninspired, the dialogue wooden, and there were some pretty unlikely situations involved. (view spoiler)
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Reginald Hill's writing (especially the Dalziel and Pascoe series), but I had to put this book away for a while. A long while.

It is a story that takes place during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. I have read many books involving the war, but I found this one painful. Somehow living under foreign occupation felt more insidious than the actual battles.

Men slaughtering each other with various armaments on the front lines seems more honest, somehow.

This story about a human
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gripping especially with this narrator. A look at when you actually help the enemy and when you don’t. Perhaps a bit too predictable, but good at depicting everyman.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having REALLY enjoyed my first Reginal Hill book (the woodcutter), i was keen to read the first in his Dalziel and Pascoe series. Unfortunately i found that slow and 'nothing special'. However, this book renewed my faith in him. Yes, it's a little long and somewhat slower than it could be but i love this style of writing. The resolutions always (so far) leave me with a smile on my face. Definitely kept me wanting to pick it up again, which is the mark of a good book.
Julia Newton
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoy all of Reginald Hill's books, especially the Dalziel and Pascoe novels. This one is a one-off, about life in Paris in 1945, during the continued German occupation. It is seen through the eyes of many characters - a French mother, her unpredictable husband and her two children, and various members of the German occupying regime and the French resistance. Fascinating.
Mar 27, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shonna Froebel
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one took a while to get through (13 CDs) but was excellent. The book was came out in 1987, but the audiobook is recent. The story is set in Paris from 1940 to 1945, mostly during the German occupation. Janine Simonian, daughter of patisserie owners Claude and Louise Crozier, married Jean Paul Simonian who is missing in action. When she tries to flee Paris ahead of the Germans, her car is destroyed by German planes and she and her children, Paulie and Cece, return to Paris. Janine is fiercel ...more
Well written novel by an author whose work I haven't read before. The backdrop of the novel is fascinating, Paris under German occupation during the second world war. It's a story that deals primarily with the Resistence movement and those French who collaborated with the Boche.

This novel is more character driven rather than action based. Janine Simonian is a Frenchwoman married to a Jewish man, her world is literally torn apart during the occupation. Janine is a wife and mother who will do anyt
Aug 11, 2016 added it
This is the first Reg Hill book i've read(it won't be my last), which was leant to me by a friend at work. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the style of writing was great and the depth of characters held my attention. I loved the toing and froing of the characters, all their good and bad points. it really made you think about in a certain situation what would you do? Even when you think someone is maybe the bad person, their actions sometimes conflict otherwise and maybe they are not what they really ar ...more
May 20, 2007 rated it liked it
By the author of Dalziel and Pascoe, it is set in wartime ( World War Two to be exact) Paris. Yet it is mainly a story of people rather than fighting. Janine, the main character, is on trial for collaborating with the 'Boche' including the death of her own husband, a Resistance fighter. Her Jewish husband, her German Army contact, her middle class parents, her Black Market cousin all put pressure on Janine but her focus is very straightforward - her two young children who are under constant thre ...more
Apr 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
The first Reginald Hill book I've read, despite always enjoying the Dalziel and Pascoe adaptations on TV. I read this in two installments four weeks apart, thanks to accidentally leaving the book behind. I found the characters had been so well developed that I was able to carry on as though I'd only put it down the day before. Hill really makes you live and breathe next to these characters, as a story of love and loss unwinds with the backdrop of WW2 and the Final Solution having an enormous imp ...more
Cathy Ace
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoy Reginald Hill's Dalziel & Pascoe novels, and picked this up on the off-chance that it, too, would be good. It is an excellent novel. It just goes to show that good writers are good writers, even when they write outside their genre. This is an insightful, touching, thrilling, thought-provoking read. Ideal for book clubs, as there are so many layers that can be discussed. It challenges the reader to consider the rights and wrongs (or even if there are such concepts) of colla ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: paperback
Hard one to sum up. Probably my least favourite Reginald Hill book. It's a reissue of a twenty year old not-exactly-a-mystery, set in occupied Paris during 1940-1945. Quite different from his usual stuff.

It wasn't the different-from-usual that put me off - the story just got off to a really slow start, seemed to be populated with indistinct characters and din't engage me at all. I kept going hoping it would get better, and it did. Occassionally it felt like a really good book, but mostly I found
May 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Asuperbly told tale of one French woman's fight to protect her children during the German occupation of Paris during WWII. Married to a Jew, rejected by her own mother, adored by a German officer, could her life be more complicated or her choices more difficult? A wonderful find in a "reduced" bin at a newsagents, definitely worth looking out for.

After reading this book, walking around the Marais area of Paris took on even more meaning. Highly recommended.
Susan Anderson
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Timeline not chronological. Gripping story. This reader asks herself over and over: who are the collaborators in this story? Who is the protagonist? Complex main characters. Setting is Paris under the occupation, 1940 - 1944. Hill understands Paris and his characters and what a woman will do for the return of her children—their fate, unknown until the end. He also understands mob psychology and political correctness.
Petra Willemse
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
I love Reginald Hill. However this was a huge disappointment. So huge it almost made it to my 'unfinished' list. I understand an author wanting to branch out, but historical fiction is just not Hill's best genre. I just didn't get engaged with the characters and found the history glossy at best. Stick to the Dalziel and Pascoe series instead.
Feb 03, 2011 rated it liked it
There was a point in this book when I thought I might give up - it felt unbearable, just too painful. However, it is a good story and I am glad I carried on with it. Almost inevitably, you ask what you would do in various characters situations which is uncomfortable. But then the best fiction often isn't.
Ann Tonks
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
An unexpected read from the author of the Daizel and Pascoe crime thrillers. A fascinating take on the complexity of life in Paris under German occupation. Engaging and informative.
French people who collaborated with the Nazis in Paris, and the revenge of the Parisian mob against collaborators
Mick Maye
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Mistakening bought this from a mail out thinking it was a historical account of collaborators in France.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was ok, not bad. I've read other works by this author that I thought were better than this effort, though.
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M.K. Graff
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Jan 26, 2012
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Nov 21, 2009
David Ward
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Mrs J K Coleman
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David L. Souder
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Oct 28, 2018
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Reginald Charles Hill is a contemporary English crime writer, and the winner in 1995 of the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement.

After National Service (1955-57) and studying English at St Catherine's College, Oxford University (1957-60) he worked as a teacher for many years, rising to Senior Lecturer at Doncaster College of Education. In 1980 he retired from