Nevertheless, Chanel was a Nazi collaborator, and the story of her wartime life and activity and how she escaped detection and punishment after the war to maintain her reputation and career until her death is a fascinating and eye-opening one.
Hal Vaughan has done an outstanding research job for this book, piecing together the evidence and presenting the story with flair, introducing the reader not only to the complex Chanel but many other fascinating characters as well. This is a different view of World War II, unlike any other I have read. It is factual and never overly dramatic, yet it does not hide the evil of the times or make excuses for the actions of Chanel and the other German collaborators.
In the end, Chanel's genius overshadows her shallowness and self-centered view of life, but her story only proves how much darkness can be hidden in even the most brilliant and creative individuals. The enemy, after all, may not look like the devil but like a beautiful, sophisticated woman, a handsome playboy, or any person you pass on the street.