Robert Bruce-Brand

Review from
I liked a number of aspects of the book. It is less than twenty years after World War II and memories of German atrocities are still fresh in the minds of the local population. There is still distrust of people suspected of having been Nazi collaborators. The author handles this subject delicately without making it an overarching theme of the book.
Ballard and his friends capitalise on their location in central Europe by taking holiday trips to, inter alia, Tyrol and Pamplona which are well described and eventful in terms of the characters’ personalities and interactions. He shares a number of interests and activities with Ingrid, wife of his best friend Dr Oliver Stern. Although he clearly develops feelings for her, the author rather cleverly keeps the reader in suspense regarding the outcome of this relationship.
The book was clearly very well edited as I found no errors. Coles’ descriptions of medical procedures throughout the book are simple yet effective. However, he makes occasional use of the French vernacular which the average reader may not comprehend. For example, who knows that a “deux chevaux” is a tiny Citroën sedan motor vehicle? These are few and far between and did not detract from my enjoyment of the book which I rate four out of four stars. I recommend it unreservedly to those who enjoy historical fiction with a touch of romantic intrigue.

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