Featured Review: ‘The Watchmaker’s Daughter’ by Larry Loftis


Larry Loftis, New York Times bestselling author and master of the nonfiction thriller, is back with another inspirational story about one of history’s most unsung heroes, Corrie ten Boom.

Billed as “one of the greatest stories of World War II that readers haven’t heard,” Loftis makes good on that claim early in his latest nonfiction thriller. Corrie ten Boom, for those who don’t know much about her coming into this one, was a groundbreaking female Dutch watchmaker during WWII. But Corrie, and her family, went far beyond watch-making, risking everything—including their lives—opting to turn their home into a safe haven for Jews and refugees to hide from the Nazis during Gestapo raids. And even as the Nazis became wise to their life-saving actions, Corrie, who lost most of her family and sacrificed greatly, relied on her faith to sustain her and keep her going, refusing to quit and never backing down.

Whether you’re familiar with her actions or not, Loftis expertly guides the reader through Corrie’s life, deftly plotting her story—including her time as a watchmaker, her efforts to protect hundreds of lives, even as it cost her everything and led to her herself being a prisoner in a concentration camp, to learning how to forgive her persecutors and ending with her time as a missionary—by detailing her trials and triumphs, all written in a way that pulls you from one chapter to the next. With more cliffhangers than most modern-day thrillers, The Watchmaker’s Daughter, which is equally informative and entertaining, is impossible to put down.

But the word I kept coming back to, the word that perhaps best describes this story, is powerful.

Through nearly 400 pages, Loftis captures Corrie’s spirit in a way that is reminiscent of today’s greatest spy novelists. Think Daniel Silva or le Carre, but whereas those writers made names for themselves by beating headlines with fictional characters such as Gabriel Allon and George Smiley, Loftis takes readers back in time to cover the headlines and stories that were never told (but should be staples in schools across the nation). He’s done it time and time again—Into The Lion’s Mouth (2016), Code Name: Lise (2019), The Princess Spy (2021), etc.—proving he’s anything but a one-hit-wonder . . . and that he’s the best in the world at what he does. Simply put, to not read his work is to miss out on an experience that nobody else can deliver.

The perfect gateway book for readers who’ve yet to explore nonfiction, Larry Loftis’ The Watchmaker’s Daughter: The True Story of World War II Heroine Corrie ten Boom is a fascinating and raw look at the life of a remarkable woman who gave herself to numerous noble causes, leading an extraordinary life of service and perseverance, all told in a way that holds up against anything—even contemporary espionage thrillers—you stack it up against. Trust me, you do not want to miss this amazing book.

Book Details

Author: Larry Loftis
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0063234581
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: March 7, 2023
Real Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and is building a growing community on Twitch. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr says “will leave you speechless and begging for more,” is now available. His second novel, LETHAL RANGE, comes out on August 8th. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And to take part in free, exclusive BOOK CLUBS each month, join The Real Book Spy on Discord.


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