Review: Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz

Among the Red Stars

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

World War Two has shattered Valka’s homeland of Russia, and Valka is determined to help the effort. She knows her skills as a pilot rival the best of the men, so when an all-female aviation group forms, Valka is the first to sign up.

Flying has always meant freedom and exhilaration for Valka, but dropping bombs on German soldiers from a fragile canvas biplane is no joyride. The war is taking its toll on everyone, including the boy Valka grew up with, who is fighting for his life on the front lines.

As the war intensifies and those around her fall, Valka must decide how much she is willing to risk to defend the skies she once called home.

Inspired by the true story of the airwomen the Nazis called Night Witches, Gwen C. Katz weaves a tale of strength and sacrifice, learning to fight for yourself, and the perils of a world at war.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz is a heart breaking tale. One of war, loss, and grief. But with that also comes hope, love, and strength. A young woman bravely goes into the air force knowing the risks. Her male friend is also fighting on the front lines. Danger, nightmares, and risks await them both. Their friendship never fades even as the war breaks out all around them. Hope keeps them both going.

Females are being allowed to fight in the war as pilots. Valka is one of them. She defies all the stereotypes that go against women during that time. Valka is brave, smart, and a good woman. I like her. Her personality makes this sad journey more enjoyable. I easily got lost within the pages. The relationship between both Valka and her male friend, Pasha, is heartfelt. Missing opportunities before the war, now have the chance to happen. But only if they both make it out alive. Overall, I would highly recommend this historical/women’s fiction novel to all.

 

Review: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  •  FEATURING AN EXCLUSIVE NEW CHAPTER

GoodReads Choice Awards Semifinalist 

“Moving . . . a plot that surprises and devastates.”—New York Times Book Review

“A masterful epic.”—People magazine

“Mesmerizing . . . The Women in the Castle stands tall among the literature that reveals new truths about one of history’s most tragic eras.”—USA Today

Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.

Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck is an outstanding tale. One that brings me back to the past during the start of WWII. The lives that were lost, held captive, and tortured during this time brings back an unforgettable sadness. Families torn apart and gone…with only their memories living on…

I am a huge historical buff especially for WWII. Hitler is by far one of the worst devils ever presented to this world. How it went on for so long…still bugs me. The lives of the characters is amazing. The Holocaust and the German support of Hitler are explored on these pages.

Three women who are strong, determined, and battling their future head on…I instantly was taken with each of them. Their stories were so real. It was like I was living through each one of them. Brilliant story telling on Jessica Shattuck’s part. Her book carries a lot of history as well as entertainment. Themes of survival, hope, and love are found in this novel. I highly recommend it to all readers.

Review: Brothers-In-Arms 

Synopsis:

Can a Jew and a Nazi survive Hitler’s Germany?
Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Then one day their lives are shattered when they see first-hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high. 
With the war now on their doorsteps, Franz and Japhet come up with a desperate plan to save their families and get them out of Germany alive. Leaving behind the lives they’ve always known, they move into Berlin with nothing to protect them but forged papers and each other. Convinced their friendship can keep them going, the boys try and make a new life for themselves while trying to keep their true identities and Japhet’s heritage a secret. Taking his best friend’s safety upon himself, Franz joins the Nazis in an attempt to get valuable information. At the same time, Japhet joins the Jewish Resistance, neither friend telling the other of their new occupations.
With everyone in their world telling them a Nazi and a Jew can’t be friends, it is only a matter of time before they believe all the lies themselves, until neither is certain if they are fighting against a race of people or fighting for their homeland. Somehow they have to survive the horrors of World War II, even when all of Germany seems to be against them.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Brothers-In-Arms by Jack Lewis Baillot is a tale that takes readers immediately back into the dark and haunting time for Jews. Even their German friends were in danger. Imagine trying to help a Jewish member escape from the cruelty of the Hitler’s Nazis…if caught one’s death could be just as bad or much worse than what the Jews received. Sad and troubling times. A moment in history all will never forget. Jack Lewis Baillot has created a fictional world full of suspense, deadly consequences, and an unforgettable friendship unlike any other. A German Nazis best friends with a Jew. 

Inside this novel, readers meet two boys who grew up being friends. Times have changed and with it their lives are at stake. Japhet Buchanan is a Jew. For that reason alone he is tormented by all. As war breaks out, he and his family will be in grave danger. His friend Fran’s Kappel, a German, works with his friend to get out of Germany with their family. Safety. But getting out will prove most difficult. Brothers-In-Arms had me rooting for both characters and crying too. Both went through so many demons to get to the ending moment. The writing brought back the fears, tears, and memories of WWII. I highly recommend it to all. Plus, the writer has gone even further by breaking more boundaries within this masterpiece. Absolutely, stunning. 

Review: Active Measures



Synopsis
:

In the winter of 1990, as the Soviet empire crumbled, a small Russian special forces team entered the dense forests of West Germany and buried an insurance policy.

In present day Iran, the United States’ most valuable agent uncovers a devastating secret brewing deep beneath the country’s mountainous terrain: In mere months, a faction of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards will successfully assemble a nuclear bomb. As the full might of the American intelligence community is mobilized to stop it, the CIA’s new director must confront a web of threats both at home and abroad, from a resentful White House chieftain, to a cunning Israeli spymaster, and the fearsome commander of the Iranian Quds Force.

In Moscow–after an oil trader with ties to the Kremlin is found burned alive in his Geneva home–an aide to Russia’s adored and despotic president is caught between opposing powers. At one side is an eccentric billionaire with lofty dreams of reorienting Russia toward the West, and at the other is the autocratic strongman whose ardent quest for resurgence has brought Russia into a risky, open confrontation with NATO.

In Lebanon, the Syrian civil war that raged for years across the border has reached its bloody climax. Yet in its wake, a new menace comes crawling from the shadows to feast on the remains. A brilliant CIA officer in Beirut, working desperately to penetrate an exhausted Hezbollah, is first to recognize the danger. As she begins calling on deaf ears, it is only a matter of time until the drums of war start beating again in the Middle East–and now with the greatest terrorist the world has ever known leading the charge.

Warping the line between illusion and reality, amid a labyrinth of characters, plots and counter-plots that span the globe–from the halls of the Kremlin and the suburbs of northern Virginia, to the slums of Beirut and the back alleys of Tehran–comes a story of intrigue and betrayal, life and death, setting a collision course toward a firestorm that will consume thousands and blind a superpower. 

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Active Measures (part 1) by Matt Fulton is one of the best military spy novels I have read. His characters are like that of my favorite thriller movies. Just as real if not more believable than the Bourne Series. I was amazed at the depth of military knowledge and terms used within the book. It was as though Matt Fulton took readers on a real walk in tour of the scenes. The sights, sounds, and places were three-dimensional. I could visually see the everything as I read them. The characters were well-developed. Danger wasn’t just a theme it was the reality of the whole novel. Threats were coming in from all sides. People found themselves dead or caught between the fire. Spies were real. Their knowledge and personalities suited perfectly. I couldn’t find a single thing out of line in this read. Everything was detailed and need to know. Readers were caught in suspense wondering where and what would happen next. A bomb planted. Threat of it going off…

Active Measures (part 1) has everything. Action, suspense, travel, and excitement. I was truly impressed. Matt Fulton knew what he was doing in creating this masterpiece. War…happens alll the time. Yet here, it’s more deadly and more serious than any other book I have read. The reality of the after effects and who’s all involved can be overwhelming. But Matt Fulton has created it, in a way that is nothing but entertaining. Absolutely and engaging tale. Government, politics, and agents. I loved it. A nightmare that haunts us all has been created for enjoyment. Overall, I highly recommend this read to all. 

Review: The Holocaust (History & Memory)

The Holocaust: History and Memory by [Black, Jeremy M.]

 

Synopsis:

Brilliant and wrenching, The Holocaust: History and Memory tells the story of the brutal mass slaughter of Jews during World War II and how that genocide has been remembered and misremembered ever since. Taking issue with generations of scholars who separate the Holocaust from Germany’s military ambitions, historian Jeremy M. Black demonstrates persuasively that Germany’s war on the Allies was entwined with Hitler’s war on Jews. As more and more territory came under Hitler’s control, the extermination of Jews became a major war aim, particularly in the east, where many died and whole Jewish communities were exterminated in mass shootings carried out by the German army and collaborators long before the extermination camps were built. Rommel’s attack on Egypt was a stepping stone to a larger goal—the annihilation of 400,000 Jews living in Palestine. After Pearl Harbor, Hitler saw America’s initial focus on war with Germany rather than Japan as evidence of influential Jewish interests in American policy, thus justifying and escalating his war with Jewry through the Final Solution. And the German public knew. In chilling detail, Black unveils compelling evidence that many everyday Germans must have been aware of the genocide around them. In the final chapter, he incisively explains the various ways that the Holocaust has been remembered, downplayed, and even dismissed as it slips from horrific experience into collective consciousness and memory. Essential, concise, and highly readable, The Holocaust: History and Memory bears witness to those forever silenced and ensures that we will never forget their horrifying fate.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Holocaust: History & Memory by Jeremy Black is one that I will forever behold. This book contains so much history and memories during one of the most horrifying moments in history. Jeremy Black has brilliantly put together a great study of the Holocaust for readers everywhere to revisit and learn. His writing is direct, concise, and very detalied. I am never giving up this book. There is so much to read. The information contained in this reading material is stunning. I was surprised it wasn’t thicker with all that was inside of it. The journey back in time and across nations and other countries was remarkable. The Holocaust always brings up the dreaded nightmares and terrors that noone wants to remember. All the innocent lives that were taken in mass killings is something that all should never forget. We need to be reminded of the hows and why and to learn that we shouldn’t ever allow something like that to occur ever again. The Holocaust: History & Memory is a strong and superb book. I highly recommend this read to all. Jeremy Black’s work is one to take seriously and read.Educational, informative, and a remembrance of such nightmares…

Review: Jesse’s Seed

Jesse's Seed by [Pakan, Sam D]

 

Synopsis:

It’s autumn, 1941. The Nazis have fired on the USS Greer; London is ablaze, and the streets of Leningrad are red with blood. Still, David Dremmer is content to work his father’s ranch and dream of his best friend’s wife. When the United States finally enters the war, David escapes his father’s disappointment and a loveless marriage by enlisting in the Air Corps. His choice proves fateful. His B-17 is shot down over Belgium. Now, he is in the hands of the Nazis, and a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues as Second Lieutenant David Dremmer wages a private war with the Luftwaffe, the Wehrmacht, and his own conscience to save the life of a beautiful Resistance operative. It’s then he discovers that the weakness that has kept him from his dreams is, in fact, the key to becoming who he was born to be. An award-winning, lyrical novel, Jesse’s Seed explores the power of choice, finality, love, and redemption.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Jesse’s Seed by Sam D. Pakan is a historical WWII novel that all will want to read. Readers are instantly taken back to 1941. The horrors of Pearl Harbor being bombed and the declaration of war will send back memories and chills down readers spines. Japanese and German soldiers. Americans fighting both. They tried to stay out of the war until it got personal and then all bets were off…attacking one’s country does things to a nation. So many boats destroyed and lives taken that day. Death, loss, war, and love. These walking together on a journey that will keep readers interested for a long time to come. A young man seems to be a disappointment to his father. His weakness is that of a good heart. Imagine flying over enemy territory…the chances of crashing on enemy territory is high. Flying during wartime is the scariest part…threats of being bombed or crashing is real. If the pilot makes it to the ground in one piece…the person could be tortured and die a slow painful death. Then, readers are taken to 1943 when flying is constant and members of a crew have died. Moments like these will create emotions like regret, sadness, and frustration.  So much evil in this world…and the good trying to save the world, seems to die faster than the bad. Soon, the destruction of Jewish businesses and places of worship are destroyed. The Nazis are here and all hell breaks loose. Nazis are the one nightmare that seems to never go away. Then, despite all the war and danger the main character is also stuck in a loveless marriage.

Then, readers are taken to 1943 when flying is constant and members of a crew have died. Moments like these will create emotions like regret, sadness, and frustration.  So much evil in this world…and the good trying to save the world, seems to die faster than the bad. Soon, the destruction of Jewish businesses and places of worship are destroyed. The Nazis are here and all hell breaks loose. Nazis are the one nightmare that seems to never go away. Then, despite all the war and danger the main character is also stuck in a loveless marriage.  Jesse’s Seed has a little of everything to lure readers to its pages. I found the tale suspenseful and well-developed. It was an emotional journey that I won’t ever forget. The characters were believable. I felt like I was there…back in time when and where it all was happening. The scenes rolling on by like an old movie playing images to my eyes. Overall, I highly recommend this stunning war novel to readers everywhere. Sam D. Pakan is a talented writer.

Review: The Bodyguard of Deception

 

Synopsis:

Can the American and British Allies stop a vaunted German spymaster and his U-boat-commander brother from warning Hitler’s High Command about the Allies’ greatest military secret? It is a secret that could win the war for Germany–or, at the very least, delay the outcome for years with an inestimable cost in bloodshed, physical destruction, and suffering. And it is a secret that the two contentious brothers must grapple with within their own Wehrmacht ranks, as they bring U.S. and British intelligence to their knees on America’s doorstep with the clock to D-Day ticking down. From a U-boat on the frigid North Sea to a brutal British interrogation center in the heart of London, to a remote German-POW camp, and the world-famous Broadmoor Hotel overlooking the high plains and snow-dusted mountain peaks of Colorado, Bodyguard of Deception will keep you guessing until the final chapter. The first book of #1 Denver Post Bestselling, Award-Winning Suspense Author Samuel Marquis’s World War II Trilogy.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Bodyguard of Deception by Samuel Marquis is the most realistic World War II novel that I have ever read. The story swept me off my feet and deep into the horrors of the war at hand. The SS officers frightened me. They are are arrogant and violent. It was surprising to hear the German spy brother question how such violent people rose to their positions in Germany. The fight between two brothers is believable. But both have their jobs to do and now, that their paths have crossed, both may be in for danger. Shooting at the enemy lured a fight that the German brothers couldn’t hold up against.  Prisoners of war…Nazis, and the Allied Forces is something that will forever be stuck in my mind. Hitler’s orders…cold, cruel, and devastating to his country. Bodyguard of Deception is truly a remarkable historical tale that readers everywhere will love. I was deeply satisfied with the fast-placed plot. Felt like I was there in the story as the war went on…Danger, enemies, and espionage all brilliantly re-told in this exciting thriller. Samuel Marquis has once again, captivated me from the beginning to end. Overall, I highly recommend this novel.

Review: A Hero of France

 

Synopsis:

From the bestselling master espionage writer, hailed by Vince Flynn as “the best in the business,” comes a riveting novel about the French Resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris.

1941. The City of Light is dark and silent at night. But in Paris and in the farmhouses, barns, and churches of the French countryside, small groups of ordinary men and women are determined to take down the occupying forces of Adolf Hitler. Mathieu, a leader of the French Resistance, leads one such cell, helping downed British airmen escape back to England.

Alan Furst’s suspenseful, fast-paced thriller captures this dangerous time as no one ever has before. He brings Paris and occupied France, to life, along with courageous citizens who outmaneuver collaborators, informers, blackmailers, and spies, risking everything to fulfill perilous clandestine missions. Aiding, Mathieu as part of his covert network are Lisette, a seventeen-year-old student, and courier; Max de Lyon, an arms dealer turned nightclub owner; Chantal, a woman of class and confidence; Daniel, a Jewish teacher fueled by revenge; Joëlle, who falls in love with Mathieu; and Annemarie, a willful aristocrat with deep roots in France, and a desire to act.

As the German military police heighten surveillance, Mathieu and his team face a new threat, dispatched by the Reich to destroy them all.

Shot through with the author’s trademark fine writing, breathtaking suspense, and intense scenes of seduction and passion, Alan Furst’s A Hero of France is at once one of the finest novels written about the French Resistance and the most gripping novel yet by the living master of the spy thriller.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Wow…immediately this powerful novel intrigues readers’ senses with fear, courage, and revenge. Alan Furst knows exactly what his readers expect and what they will want to read. His talent is found on every page of this fast-paced thriller. I loved how Alan Furst created a masterpiece surrounding the events of World War II. History fans will definitely enjoy reading this spy novel. As with all wars…the stakes are much higher in this war than any other. One of the world’s most evil dictators is behind all the murders, chaos, and fear that spreads like wildfire through France and the rest of Europe. A Hero of France brings to life one of the most popular historical moments of all time…World War II. Hitler is rising…and many brave souls are determined to bring down the Nazi leader. But it will be more than just going for justice…it’s revenge.  The sacrifices that will tear at readers’ hearts.

A Hero of France is about a man who leads a group of people in a resistance against the Nazis and to bring down Adolf Hitler. Going after this goal will prove difficult since they are all under surveillance. Members are separated and taken and it will take everything they have to come out of it all alive. The suspense builds as readers turn the pages. Every moment could be the destruction of them all. Amazing how one man was capable of changing his appearance so much that no one could recognize him at all. It made the Nazis search for him rather hard. Then there’s the romance…or true love between Joelle and Mathieu, the leader of the rebel group. He promises to come back to her and their home…but he must continue on his journey of getting out alive.  Danger…the threat of death is strong enough to keep readers guessing what will happen to or what happened to the some of the members. Some disappeared so well…that there are only rumors of what may have happened to them. The ending was brilliant…I enjoyed reading this historical thriller, and I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.

 

 

 

 

Review: Midnight in Berlin

 

Synopsis:

Berlin in the spring of 1939. Hitler is preparing for war. Colonel Noel Macrae, a British diplomat, plans the ultimate sacrifice to stop him. The West’s appeasement policies have failed. There is only one alternative: assassination. The Gestapo, aware of Macrae’s hostility, seeks to compromise him in their infamous brothel. There Macrae meets and falls in love with Sara, a Jewish woman blackmailed into becoming a Nazi courtesan.

Macrae finds himself trapped between the blind policies of his government and the dark world of betrayal and deception in Berlin. As he seeks to save the woman he loves from the brutality of the Gestapo, he defies his government and plans direct action to avert what he knows will be a global war.

Inspired by true events and characters, James MacManus’s Midnight in Berlin is a passionate story that will leave you in awe of the human capacity for courage, sacrifice, and love set against the world on the brink of war.

Rating:

Review:

Midnight in Berlin by James MacManus is an incredible telling of when Hilter came to power. I am a huge history fan and love anything that features world war two. This is a moment in history that comes as a nightmare to all and still in the present seems to haunt us. James MacManus brings to life history and its events of this cruel time period. The way people lived their lives, how they socialized and the war developing at hand…popped up, as a three-dimensional stage where readers can witness everything first hand. Midnight in Berlin is a fascinating novel that immediately swoops reader into the horrifying journey that is just building up in Germany. Nazis, the Gestapo, and a thrilling romance are brilliantly wrapped inside this fictional masterpiece.

James MacManus’s historical novel…is truly a powerful tale that swallows one up, whole. Here there is a British officer and a Jewish woman who meet by fate and fall in love. She is posing as a Nazi courtesan. But not because she wants to…but because she’s forced to accept. A romance develops and war trudges on…danger, suspense, intrigue…kept me turning the pages faster. It’s was like reliving the terrible times all over again. Macrea plans to stop Hitler himself. But whether he does or not is something readers must figure out on their own. I found myself highly entertained and deeply engaged at the battles being bought. I wanted to survive…Politics, murder, corruption, courage, and sacrifice were tied into this magnificent title. The talent is superb. I can definitely see this novel being on the big screens everywhere. The famous names of Hitler’s men are brought to life within this read. Amazing how history can scoop us up and take us back in time. Overall, I highly recommend Midnight in Berlin to readers everywhere.

 

 

Review: The Letter Writer

 

Synopsis:

The first thing Woodrow Cain sees when he steps off the train in New York City on February 9, 1942, is smoke from an ocean liner in flames in the harbor. It’s the Normandie, and word on the street is that it was burned by German saboteurs. “Ten lousy minutes in New York and already his new life felt as full of loss and betrayal as the one he’d left behind.”

What he left behind in a small North Carolina town was a wife who’d left him, a daughter in the care of his sister, and a career as a police officer marred by questions surrounding his partner’s murder. When he gets a job with the NYPD, he wants to believe it’s the beginning of a new life, though he suspects that the past is as tenacious as “a parasite in the bloodstream.”

It’s on the job that Cain comes in contact with a man who calls himself Danziger. He has the appearance of a “crackpot,” but he speaks five languages, has the manners of a man of means and education—and he appears to be the one person who can help Cain identify a body just found floating in the Hudson River. But who exactly is Danziger? He’s a writer of letters for illiterate immigrants on Manhattan’s Lower East Side—“a steadfast practitioner of concealing and forgetting” for his clients, and perhaps for himself: he hints at a much more worldly past. What and whoever he really is or has been, he has a seemingly boundless knowledge of the city and its denizens. And he knows much more than the mere identity of the floating corpse. For one thing, he knows how the dead man was involved in New York City’s “Little Deutschland,” where swastikas were proudly displayed just months before. And he also seems to know how the investigation will put Cain—and perhaps his daughter and the woman he’s fallen for—in harm’s way. But even Danziger can’t know that the more he and Cain investigate, the nearer they come to the center of a citywide web of possibly traitorous corruption from which neither of them may get out alive.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Letter Writer by Dan Fesperman is a political thriller that will automatically entice its readers to it plot’s depth. Danger, intrigue, politics, and spies all masterfully woven for readers entertainment. I loved the sense of excitement and fear on every page. Readers don’t know what to expect until it happens.  Dan Fesperman’s writing has a way of sucking its readers into its tale. The way the novel is told, it creates a sense of actually being there and experiencing it all with one’s own eyes and ears. The scenes have a way of popping, to life, and sends readers on a race for truth.

Dan Fesperman takes readers on a journey that involves a city full of corruption, danger, and murder. The Letter Writer is fantastic…tons of action, suspense, and keeps readers guessing. One man witnesses an ocean liner go up in flames, his past life is a mess and now he’s an NYPD officer in New York and his partner is murdered. This alone will leave readers on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what’s to come. The title of this novel comes into play when this police office, Cain, meets a man who is a writer. Together these two unlikely characters pair up to investigate the city’s crimes that involve a group using swastikas. When one wearing a swastika pops up dead the danger heats up…and as with all investigators, Cain’s life isn’t the only life that may be placed into danger…his daughter and a woman whom he’s falling for might just be pulled into this intricate and highly intense investigation. Stakes are high but so are the possibilities of surviving it all. This was the first time that I have read any work by Dan Fesperman and I loved it. A novel worthy of every readers’ attention…addictive, fast-paced, and thrilling. Overall, I highly recommend this stunning novel, The Letter Writer, to readers everywhere.

Review: Journey to Munich

 

Synopsis:

Working with the British Secret Service on an undercover mission, Maisie Dobbs is sent to Hitler’s Germany in this thrilling tale of danger and intrigue—the twelfth novel in Jacqueline Winspear’s New York Times bestselling “series that seems to get better with each entry” (Wall Street Journal).

It’s early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs is back in England. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks towards Fitzroy Square—a place of many memories—she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man’s wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie—who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter—to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich.

The British government is not alone in its interest in Maisie’s travel plans. Her nemesis—the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death—has learned of her journey, and is also desperate for her help.

Traveling into the heart of Nazi Germany, Maisie encounters unexpected dangers—and finds herself questioning whether it’s time to return to the work she loved. But the Secret Service may have other ideas. . . .

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear caught my attention because it’s a war novel. Nazi Germany…is nothing but a place of nightmares, terror, and mass murder. The cries of those who were killed can still be heard anytime the topic comes up…My grandma worked on the Nazi war crimes so, reading about this time and horrific period brings me a little closer to those who suffered, torn apart, and murdered. I don’t know how any can forget or move on…it was way before my time yet my heart breaks for all those people especially the children who died…because one man hypnotized a country into mass murder, destruction, and lies.

Inside of Jacqueline Winspear’s novel, Journey to Munich, readers are taken deep into the frontlines of war and the danger becomes real. One woman lost her husband and needs a purpose to move on…she is soon swept up into a situation that will be hard to get out of…like that of pretending to be one man’s dead daughter to get him out alive…all because the government wants him for their purpose. Readers will be brought close to what it’s like being a prisoner of war and the ugliness of how governments can be during these confusing, sad, and frightening times. A woman who’s heart stays true to her one and only love…a woman who won’t back down until she’s satisfied. What she doesn’t know she makes up with tenacity. This novel is well-written and the characters are more than well-developed. It’s the most intriguing read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats waiting to find out what’s going to happen next. I have heard so much about this novel before reading it and I wasn’t disappointed. Jacqueline Winspear is a talented writer who can drag every reader into her historical fiction. I loved it. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers worldwide.

Review: Death Steppe: A WWII Novel

 

Synopsis:

Merriam Press Historical Fiction HF11 (First Edition, 2015). This World War II novel takes place in 1944, during Germany’s retreat from the western Soviet Union. The story follows the lives of a Russian war widow, Elena, a dissident, Christian, and black marketeer, as she serves as a medic on the front lines, and a disillusioned German lieutenant, Halder, a former professor and concentration camp officer, as he fights in a losing effort. In time, Elena and others, are forced into service as temporary navigators in an all-female regiment to the Red Army air force. After Elena’s plane crashes, she finds the injured Halder from the squadron she helped bomb. As enemies, the injured Elena and Halder alternate between helping and nearly killing each other. Eventually, the desperate soldiers discover an unexpected bond. Together they embark on a turbulent journey as lovers and disheartened deserters.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Death Steppe (A WWII Novel) by Judy Bruce is brilliant. Her novel takes readers straight into the plot. WWII in 1944 was indeed a scary time…what’s scarier is actually meeting the person whom one has tried to kill…meeting the person considered as your enemy can take a toll on a person. However, Judy Bruce takes an unexpected encounter of two enemies during this war time and force them to meet. Both are surprised but also weary of the other. Thinking of killing the other one or to work together to survive their outcome is a big decision that neither can take too lightly.

Judy Bruce has captured the realistic historical time period down to every specific detail as well as creating characters who will never be forgotten. I love anything featuring history and showing readers how difficult it was like back then and how every decision has a huge impact on one’s life. Just one decision can change your future forever…can Elena and Halder make the right choice? This tale like many others that capture historical moments will make readers cringe atwhat really happened and how cold people can be during this time periods. Haunting, dark, but with some truth and accuracy…readers will be taken back to the front lines of WWII. Readers will feel like they are actually witnessing the events in this novel through their own eyes instead of the characters. Judy Bruce has created a maserpiece when she wrote Death Steppe. I loved reading this book, and I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.

Review: The Girl Called Princess Charlotte

 

Synopsis:

A Priceless Treasure with a Mysterious Past… Boston attorney Theodore Murphy, Teddy to his friends, has been handed a seemingly straightforward case: to recover a valuable painting by Franz Winterhalter, Young Girl Called Princess Charlotte, which was stolen by the Nazis from Jewish art dealer Dr. Markus Steiner. When the charitable organization founded in his will by Steiner learns that Anna Vogler has put the painting up for auction they demand its return. But Teddy Murphy finds that Vogler’s attorneys aren’t prepared to give up without a fight…and as the widow of a World War II veteran, she makes a sympathetic witness.

Teddy learns that she has no proof of purchase, her husband sent the painting home from Europe near the end of the war, and a mystery surrounds where and how he got it. Armed with this information and Markus Steiner’s diary, Teddy sets out to prove that the Steiner Foundation should rightfully own the painting. Joined by his girlfriend Judith Frazer, Teddy learns about Markus from the trenches of World War I to his daring escape from Nazi Germany, as together they watch a remarkable life story unfold in the pages of Markus’ diary, while they pursue every available avenue, to find out the truth about the painting.

This vivid, beautifully researched historical thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat, while introducing you to the suffering of World War I soldiers, the shocking nightlife of Berlin, the intrigues of the international art world, the horror of the rising Third Reich…and the compassionate dedication of those who still work to bring justice to the Jews of Europe.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Girl Called Princess Charlotte is a must read for all. Especially for fans of the movie, Woman in Gold. This historical fiction takes readers back to World War II and leads them on a journey for the truth. Art, history, and intrigue will sweep readers off their feet and back in time.

The Girl Called Princess Charlotte by Gerard Shirar is spectacular. The characters leave readers on edge as the court process begins…readers hold their breath hoping for a good outcome. Similarities from this to the Woman in Gold movie is fascinating. A Jewish painting with a long line of history is now worth millions. World War II in Germany was a terrifying endless moment in history that those in the present day will never forget. Nazi take what once belonged to the Jewish people of Germany. They had their rights stripped, their possessions taken, and countless thousands were killed. Families were torn, fear in every direction…any kind of resistance lured not only the Jewish owner but the owner’s family to death. The Girl Called Princess Charlotte by Gerard Shirar is a startling truth that should be uncovered and read by all. Gerard Shirar’s writing is well-developed and awe-inspiring. It shows readers that even after so much time has gone by that justice can prevail. Overall, I highly recommend this historical novel to readers worldwide.

A Prisoner

Pamela a young Jew, was being carted off onto a train headed to war camps. She was separated from her family. Her papa was shot in the back right in front of her brother, her mama, and herself. She was 12.

She cried but didn’t scream. If she screamed she too would be shot just like her papa. The Nazis took her brother away and then her mama. Then she too was lead away. Now on a train boarded with tons of other Jews. All who lost their families, and homes too. They were young just like her. Pamela hears rumors of the wars camps.

The Nazis would take the Jews to camps only to be killed. Some were shot at once in rows. While others were burned in ghastly stone showers. Pamela never felt so frightened in her life. The rest of her people on board were starved, lost and frightened too. All but one. A boy who looked close to her age but just a bit taller.

Pamela walked over to him. And asked, “Aren’t you scared too?”

The boy turns around to look at her. Just starring at her. “No, I’m not scared.”

Pamela starred back at the boy in wonder. Something about him gave her comfort and strength. Nervously she takes his hand in hers, “I’m Pamela.”

Shocked by the girls bold move in taking his hand he squeezes her hand tighter and tells her, “I’m Drake.”

Looking at each other they both hold on. Not knowing where they were headed or what will happen next. Will they die at the camps? Which death camp were they going too? What is happening to their families? These and so many more questions made there silence only grow stronger and darker as the train continued. Will they see tomorrow’s sun? Or will they too die along with countless others.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: