In the next chapter we are introduced to Hermia Mount, who works for British Intelligence.
Hermia is also the fiancée of Arne Olufsen, Harold’s older brother. We learn that Hernia was raised in Denmark as her father was a British diplomat. For Hermia Denmark is her home, but she was evacuated with some other British citizens when Hitler invaded Denmark. Since she speaks Danish and German, she has been hired by the government. Hermia is in direct contact with the Danish resistance through Poul Kirke, Arne’s best friend, but she has no contact with Arne as she doesn’t think it’s right to use the resistance to contact her boyfriend. Besides, she is afraid of putting Arne at risk if she sends him a letter, which is intercepted by the Nazis.
Hermia is approached by Digby Hoare, the man working for Winston Churchill and whose brother is in hospital. The first thing Digby tells her is that he things she is a beautiful woman and wants to go out with him, but she turns him down because of Arne. Yet, I have the hunch that her relationship with Digby might develop from her. When she is later in the bathroom, she overhears some of her colleagues, talking about Digby in a derisive way because the man has a wooden leg, and I think that those comments annoy Hermia, and maybe to prove those women wrong she might even consider meeting Digby for a drink or something.
When Digby talks to Hermia, he also mentions the message that Winston Churchill showed him, which included the word Freya. Hermia explains that Freya was a viking goddess, and Digby thinks that maybe Freya is some kind of equipment to identify planes, and that is why the English government are losing so many planes and men.
I think that Hermia is going to be an interesting character in the book. I love when there are female characters in plots which have traditionally been male-focused. Women played an important role in the Second World War, and I love it when their importance is shown in books.