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Warlight Summary

Warlight by Michael Ondaajte is a WWII-era mystery thriller, published in 2018. The protagonist is the narrator Nathaniel, who tells the story as a flashback beginning in 1945. At this point, Nathaniel is fourteen years old, and he has an older sister named Rachel. Their parents leave London for Singapore, and they are left in their mother's friend Walter, called "The Moth" for his taciturn nature. The Moth has a friend named Pimlico Darter, an ex-boxer involved in professional crime. Darter helps Nathaniel get a job at a store, where he commences a sexual relationship with a working-class girl, Agnes Street.

One night, Nathaniel, Rachel, and The Moth are all attacked. It turns out that their mother was a spy during WWII, and the attackers were foreign operatives. The children are saved by one Arthur McCash, but The Moth is killed.

The novel fast-forwards to Nathaniel's adulthood in 1959, which finds him working at a government archives office. His mother was killed in an attack, and his sister (who now has a child whom she named Walter, in memory of The Moth), was too poisoned against their mother to attend the funeral. Through his work, Nathaniel learns that his mother had an affair while in the foreign service, and Darter and Agnes have married and have a child which may be Nathaniel's. Nathaniel lives in the same small town in Suffolk where his mother grew up.