Viking has signed the “unputdownable” Paris ’44 by military historian Patrick Bishop, to be published for the 80th anniversary of the city's liberation.
Publishing director Daniel Crewe acquired world rights from Annabel Merullo at Peters Fraser + Dunlop. It will be published in hardback in autumn 2023 and in paperback in spring 2024.
The book tells the story of how Paris was liberated in August 1944, providing a “hinge moment in history”. The synopsis explains: “Paris ’44 is the story of those iridescent days, packed with drama, emotion, heroism and joy – and heart-thumping suspense as the fate of the City of Light hangs in the balance. Inside the city we see French freedom fighters, aided by a motley crew of escaped Allied airmen, criminals and fugitives rise against their oppressors; outside, a multinational rescue force rush to intervene before the resisters are massacred. All the while Nazi general Dietrich von Choltitz asks himself the terrible question: should Paris live or die?”
Bishop spent 25 years as a foreign correspondent covering conflicts around the world before launching a writing career. His work includes three William Collins-published books about the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, Fighter Boys, Bomber Boys and Air Force Blue, all of which were Sunday Times bestsellers.
Crewe said: “With his compelling countdown narrative, his deep knowledge of the Second World War and of Paris, and drawing on unseen archival material from France, Germany and beyond, Patrick will bring to life one of the high-points of the Second World War with his usual authority, vividness and élan. The 80th anniversary in 2024 will be a huge international celebration, and this will be the book to mark it.”
Bishop is currently writing Operation Jubilee, on the Dieppe Raid, to be published by Viking in 2021 ahead of the 80th anniversary. Viking also holds world rights.