Kix follows the story through every stage of his hero's acquisitions of the unusual skills with which he would prosecute his war against the Nazis … Kix takes the reader from adventure to adventure, and all of it is narrated with a curiously effective combination of historical perspective and fictional thriller dramatics … Kix's account begins and ends with glimpses of that much older man, recalling the unspoken code of bravery that guided him and his comrades during the Resistance. The reminder that The Saboteur is at heart a hero's tale is very refreshing.
La Rochefoucauld earned a biographer worthy of his improbable life. Even though we know from the book’s prologue that the French aristocrat winds up living a long life, Kix builds narrative tension with masterfully detailed scenes and cliffhanger endings for each chapter … His distancing is admirable, but I kept longing for unintrusive paragraphs and sentences that would have shed light on his mission to excavate and make sense of his discoveries or dead-ends … The Saboteur is completely engrossing and elegantly told, which means any reader of this work will inevitably want more and more.
Kix's real-life adventure book is informed by interviews with members of his subject's family, piles of government records and the now-deceased La Rochefoucauld's autobiography. Kix fastidiously cross-references dates and other facts to keep the timeline aligned with reality and uncolored by clan lore and the protagonist's sometimes fuzzy memory … The ability of Kix...to infuse every chapter with historical fact and analysis makes the book an enjoyable read. He telescopes between the larger themes of the period — the atmosphere of post-invasion France, the rise of the resistance movement, how England's clandestine training program for saboteurs evolved — and his protagonist's unrivaled personal story.