Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter by Robert Hutton

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of Publication: November 12th, 2019

Genre: Biography, Memoir

Where you can find Agent Jack: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, BookBub

The never-before-told story of Eric Roberts, who infiltrated a network of Nazi sympathizers in Great Britain in order to protect the country from the grips of fascism

June 1940: Europe has fallen to Adolf Hitler’s army, and Britain is his next target. Winston Churchill exhorts the country to resist the Nazis, and the nation seems to rally behind him. But in secret, some British citizens are plotting to hasten an invasion. Agent Jack tells the incredible true story of Eric Roberts, a seemingly inconsequential bank clerk who, in the guise of “Jack King”, helped uncover and neutralize the invisible threat of fascism on British shores. Gifted with an extraordinary ability to make people trust him, Eric Roberts penetrated the Communist Party and the British Union of Fascists before playing his greatest role for MI5: Hitler’s man in London. Pretending to be an agent of the Gestapo, Roberts single-handedly built a network of hundreds of British Nazi sympathizers—factory workers, office clerks, shopkeepers —who shared their secrets with him. It was work so secret and so sensitive that it was kept out of the reports MI5 sent to Winston Churchill.

In a gripping real-world thriller, Robert Hutton tells the fascinating story of an operation whose existence has only recently come to light with the opening of MI5’s WWII files. Drawing on these newly declassified documents and private family archives, Agent Jack shatters the comforting notion that Britain could never have succumbed to fascism and, consequently, that the world could never have fallen to Hitler. Agent Jack is the story of one man who loved his country so much that he risked everything to stand against a rising tide of hate.


First Line:

Mr. Jones, assistant controller at the Westminster Bank, put down the phone in a puzzled mood.

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter by Robert Hutton

My Review:

I have been an avid reader of anything to do with WWII and the Holocaust. There are very few things that could shock me about that era. Then I read Agent Jack and had my mind blown.

I don’t know why I was so surprised to read that there were Nazi sympathizers in England. I shouldn’t have been. Considering that Germany is a little over an hour (flying time) from England, it should have made sense. I will admit, it threw me off the book for a little bit. Once I was able to wrap my mind around that, I was able to get somewhat get into Agent Jack.

Agent Jack took me six days to read. Four of those six days were spent traveling. Ever travel with three kids? Then you understand why it took me so long to read. The other reason why it took me so long was that I had to force myself to read and finish the book. Which, if you have done it, isn’t a good thing. I also found it extremely dry. There was a lot of information to process.

There were parts of the book that I found interesting. It involved the MI5, which is England’s equivalent to the US’s CIA. I found it fascinating the politics that went into everything. I haven’t read a lot of books on the MI5, but what I have read caught my interest.

Agent Jack had a wide assortment of people as main characters. But the main guy, the bank clerk who was essential to everything, was fascinating. He kept tabs on 500 people without blowing his cover. Which, to me, is impressive. I can’t even keep tabs on three people without running into issues.

I liked that the author chose to portray the Nazi sympathizers in a way that explains why they felt that way. A lot of these sympathizers were refugees from WWI and harbored anger towards England. They would do anything to help Germany, which included betraying the country that took them in.

The author did a fantastic job of showing what happened to all the key players, good and bad, at the end of the book. I will say that I was inscensed over how Eric Roberts was treated. That poor man gave years and to get treated like that!! Shameful.


I would give Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter an Older teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

WWW Wednesday: October 30th, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

The Brutal Time Special Edition (Angelbound Origins Book 6) by [Bauer, Christina]

“This author’s words were spellbinding, I was in absolute bliss. This book produced a fiery blaze that was pure Myla!” – Book Reviews by Shalini

As the Great Scala, Myla Lewis is the only being who can move Purgatory’s souls to Heaven or Hell. It’s a big job. Too bad Myla goes through assistants faster than a hot knife through brownies. Not that it bothers her much; Myla’s always been a solo fighter.

Then comes the problem of the fading angels. Millions of Heavenly residents are dying. According to a prophecy, the only way Myla can save them is by traveling back in time, meeting King Arthur, and creating her own knights of the round table. The catch? Doing so might end the after-realms in a bloody demonpocalypse.

Yipes.

Myla and her main squeeze, Lincoln, aren’t afraid of taking a few chances (in between kisses). But this time the stakes may be too high, even for them. And the biggest challenge of all? Finding those knights.

Because Myla Lewis doesn’t play well with others. At all.

“These books don’t just capture your attention, they straight up demand it. Christina Bauer has created a fascinating and unique world that you do not want to miss out on.” – Bookhalolic Brittany

I am loving this book. From the plotline to the characters, I can’t get enough of it!!

The Brutal Time is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review on November 1st (blog tour).


I recently finished reading:

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories by [Bentley, Stephen, Alldredge, Greg, Artieri, Kelly, Kane, L. Lee, Spinelli, Michael, Cheadle, Robbie, Castaneda, Kay, Bauer, Justin, Locatelli, Aly]

Who knew death could be so eclectic? Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer.’

Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.

Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.

These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.

But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.

There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, LA, England, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.

The ten authors who have contributed to the anthology are:

Stephen Bentley
Greg Alldredge
Kelly Artieri
Robbie Cheadle
Michael Spinelli
L. Lee Kane
Kay Castaneda
Aly Locatelli
Justin Bauer
& ‘G’ Posthumously

Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lies behind them.By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up.

Get it now.

I normally don’t read anthologies. I find them hard to review. But I enjoyed this one!! This is the perfect book for Halloween!!

Death Among Us is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review tomorrow (blog tour)


What books I think I’ll read next:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by [Butland, Stephanie]

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.
She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point.
She knows she needs to find her father.
She’s missed so much that her friends have left her behind.
She’s felt so helpless for so long that she’s let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. And now she barely knows where to start on her own.

And then there’s Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn’t make it. And now she’s supposed to face all of this without him.

But her new heart is a bold heart.

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . .

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore (A Twisted Fairy Tale: A Young Adult Fantasy) by [Märgen, Birgitte]

“We all need someplace to escape, and sometimes the mind is just as good of a place as any.”

A trailer park Alice. A hole that traps souls. The white rabbit’s a tricky hare. And the world is upside down. This fairy tale just got twisty . . .

Rule One: Don’t eat or drink.
Rule Two: Never, ever tell anyone your name.
If ya do – your soul will be lost there forever.

How do I know? I been there myself. This is my story.

There was a full moon brimmin’ that night, and that meant strange things could happen. As I walked through the woods, I reckon I shoulda known by the way my hair stood up on end like Uncle Red’s toupee —that I shoulda coulda stayed home. I call it the willies, but grandpappy calls it premonition. One thing I can tell ya as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks: If you’re fix’n to wander way over yonder —it’s important to know the right direction.

What direction ya ask? Well, ya have to read the story to find that one out.

* * *

AFTER FALLING INTO a dark hole when she was running through the forest, Evie finds herself trapped in a strange new world that mirrors our own. Her only guide is a compass stick given to her by an angry gnome who lives in an ancient knobby tree. As she travels through the lands of this upside-down world she happens upon creatures that are twisted versions of fairytale folklore. A place where fairies bite, unicorns charge, mermaids are menacing, and nightmares are more than dreams. A world where the souls of those who could not follow the unspoken rules are trapped forever.

As a southern girl born on the wrong side of the tracks, Evie relies on the wisdom passed down by her grandpappy and the haunting memories of her mama to teach her perseverance of the soul. She learns that things are rarely what they seem as her world is turned upside down.

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter

This is the incredible tale of Operation Fifth Column, a Second World War MI5 operation so secret that its existence was only revealed by the National Archives for the first time in 2014.

It’s the true story behind Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription” and Anthony Quinn’s “Our Friends In Berlin”.

Throughout the war, “Jack King” – in reality, a bank clerk named Eric Roberts – pretended to be a Gestapo agent to whom hundreds of British-based Nazi sympathisers and informers passed their secrets, thinking that he was sending them back to Germany. Many were put on a salary by what they thought was the Third Reich and some were even ‘awarded’ Iron Crosses for their services to the Fatherland; they never found out the truth.

Among the secrets they tried to pass were: a tip-off about Bletchley Park; details of the deadly Mosquito bomber; complete plans of a highly effective anti-radar technology codenamed WINDOW. The larger-than-life characters who populate the book include Roberts himself, the deceptively ordinary-seeming bank clerk; Maxwell Knight, who recruited Roberts; Victor Third Baron Rothschild, Roberts’ spymaster, who did a sideline in bomb disposal using his Cartier screwdrivers; Theresa Clay, the distinguished biologist who co-ran the operation with Rothschild, but because she was a woman was only ever classified as an ‘assistant’; Marita Perigoe, possibly the most dangerous of the fascists, who despite having her suspicions about Roberts, continued to recruit spies for him and pass him secrets to the end of the war.

Win Big: A Wynn Hockey Novel by [Jamieson, Kelly]

When your name is Wynn, victory’s the only option…

Everly Wynn: As the only daughter in the Wynn family of hockey heroes, I never shared the ice with my brothers—or the approval they got from my father.
And that was before the scandal that ruined my life at sixteen.
Now that I’ve put all that behind me and built a successful career, the last thing I need is another hockey player in my life.
Especially one like Wyatt Bell.
He’s an arrogant, fast-living party boy. I hate how he gets by on his good looks and charm.
So why can’t I get him out of my mind?

Wyatt Bell: Life is short, and you’ve got to live it to the fullest. I learned that the hard way.
So on the ice, I always play to win, and on the town, fun and flirting are my game.
Because it’s better to laugh your way through the pain than to let them see you’re hurting—but I’ll never stop wishing I could find someone to share the real me with.
Something about Everly Wynn makes me think she could be the one.
But all she sees is a hockey jock hooked on good times.
If she didn’t take herself so seriously, maybe she would take a chance on being happy.

A Cowboy Like You (Heart of Texas Book 4) by [Grant, Donna]

In the Heart of Texas, a heartthrob cowboy may get his second chance at love…

Danny Oldman, the handsome Lone Star sheriff, is still single. He tells himself, and anyone who asks, that he is married to his job―and what matters most is keeping the people of his beloved Texas hometown safe. The truth? Danny still hasn’t gotten over his high school crush. She moved away after graduation and took Danny’s heart with her.

Skylar Long never thought she would have to flee Houston and return home―where it all began for her. But that’s what happened after the man of her dreams turned out to be an actual nightmare. Now, Skylar is desperate to escape her obsessive boyfriend. Nothing shocks her more than seeing Danny again and realizing that their long-ago attraction is more powerful than ever. But can she and Danny find a way to fight against Skylar’s wealthy, powerful ex who is dead set on tearing them apart?

Weekend Fling: A Crazy Love Novel by [Lynn, Stacey]

Fresh out of a long-term relationship, Willow Parks is working two jobs and caring for her mother, whose husband left her with nothing but a pile of bills. That’s why Willow made a vow: no men until she figures out her own life.

But while she may not need a man, she could use a break. And a weekend away at a California beach to clear her head? That’s appealing. Even if the offer comes from Trey Collins, the irresistible tech-mogul millionaire who visits her coffee shop every morning like clockwork—and needs a date for his best friend’s wedding. With an adorable, occasional stutter, he refuses to take no for an answer.

Once the weekend begins, Trey is intent on proving how good they can be together. Willow’s even feeling tempted to break her vow—until reality rudely interrupts her well-deserved getaway. There’s no way she and Trey have a future, not with the colossal amount of baggage Willow has to offer.

But Trey is used to getting what he wants. He just has his work cut out for him convincing her that they want the same thing.

Into the Inferno: Book #6 (The Legend Series) by [Stewart, Kylie]

To understand means to accept one’s own mistakes.

Alexandria is trapped in Hell’s Inferno. Can she accept Guinevere’s past and face Arthur’s sins while they are played out before her very eyes? In accepting her past, she will endure the devastation, betrayal, and passion stamped in time over thousands of years.To wander into Hell as a guest is to accept mortality.

Avalon is fated to fight his way through the nine levels of The Inferno. Every step is agony, and every level a trial, reminding him of his gravest mistakes. Will his self-loathing consume him and take those standing by his side? Or will they band together to save the queen and woman they love?Everyone’s demons will have to be faced. Old wounds will be torn open and bleed anew. Will faith and love be enough?

WWW Wednesday: October 16th, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

Christmas Angels: A Novel by [Naigle, Nancy]

The next heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story by USA Today Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle.

Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Angels Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.

When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.

While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Angels Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well?

I am about a chapter into Christmas Angels and so far I like it. I needed to read a sweet romance and this seems to be what I needed.

Christmas Angels is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.


I recently finished reading:

Followers

An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.

Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

This was an interesting book to read. Not going to get into the plotline but I can see something like what Marlow was doing happening in real life. And that is scary.

Followers is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is January 14th, 2020. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


What books I think I’ll read next:

A Hundred Suns by [Tanabe, Karin]

An evocative historical novel set in 1930’s Indochine, about the American wife of a Michelin heir who journeys to the French colony in the name of family fortune, and the glamorous, tumultuous world she finds herself in—and the truth she may be running from.

On a humid afternoon in 1933, American Jessie Lesage steps off a boat from Paris and onto the shores of Vietnam. Accompanying her French husband Victor, an heir to the Michelin rubber fortune, she’s certain that their new life is full of promise, for while the rest of the world is sinking into economic depression, Indochine is gold for the Michelins. Jessie knows that their vast plantations near Saigon are the key to the family’s prosperity, and while they have been marred in scandal, she needs them to succeed for her husband’s sake—and to ensure that her trail of secrets stays hidden in the past.

Jessie dives into the glamorous colonial world, where money is king and morals are brushed aside, and meets Marcelle de Fabry, a spellbinding French woman with a moneyed Indochinese lover, the silk tycoon Khoi Nguyen. Descending on Jessie’s world like a hurricane, Marcelle proves to be an exuberant guide to ex-pat life. But hidden beneath her vivacious exterior is a fierce desire to put the colony back in the hands of its people, starting with the Michelin plantations, fueled by a terrible wrong committed against her and Khoi’s loved ones in Paris.

Yet it doesn’t take long for the sun-drenched days and champagne-soaked nights to catch up with Jessie. With an increasingly fractured mind, her affection for Indochine falters. And as a fiery political struggle builds around her, Jessie begins to wonder what’s real in a friendship that she suspects may be nothing but a house of cards.

Motivated by love, driven by ambition, and seeking self-preservation at all costs, Jessie and Marcelle each toe the line between friend and foe, ethics and excess. Cast against the stylish backdrop of 1930s Indochine, in a time and place defined by contrasts and convictions, A Hundred Suns is historical fiction at its lush, suspenseful best.

Fever: A Dark Kings Novel by [Grant, Donna]

His kiss was fire and passion. She shivered, wondering how he knew just how to touch her, to send her spiraling into an abyss of pleasure…

For centuries, the Dragon Kings have lived among mortals, forsaking their true selves. But for Kelton, hiding in the realm of shadows—and existing only in the world of dreams—is no longer an option. A human woman claims to know that he, like other dark warriors of his kind, is real. That the legends about these powerful, seductive men with hearts ablaze are true. And that, with just one embrace, Kelton could destroy her…or love her until the end of time.

Bernadette Davies is an anthropologist who knows better than to fall into the arms of a Dragon King. But how can she resist Kelton when he’s so willing to share his secrets and bear his soul? He hasn’t met a beautiful, trustworthy woman like Bernadette in…forever. But once they give into their mutual desire, their worlds will never be the same. Soon Bernadette must face her dilemma: Should she expose the truth about Kelton in the name of science? Or join him in his battle with the dark forces—in the name of love?

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore (A Twisted Fairy Tale: A Young Adult Fantasy) by [Märgen, Birgitte]

“We all need someplace to escape, and sometimes the mind is just as good of a place as any.”

A trailer park Alice. A hole that traps souls. The white rabbit’s a tricky hare. And the world is upside down. This fairy tale just got twisty . . .

Rule One: Don’t eat or drink.
Rule Two: Never, ever tell anyone your name.
If ya do – your soul will be lost there forever.

How do I know? I been there myself. This is my story.

There was a full moon brimmin’ that night, and that meant strange things could happen. As I walked through the woods, I reckon I shoulda known by the way my hair stood up on end like Uncle Red’s toupee —that I shoulda coulda stayed home. I call it the willies, but grandpappy calls it premonition. One thing I can tell ya as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks: If you’re fix’n to wander way over yonder —it’s important to know the right direction.

What direction ya ask? Well, ya have to read the story to find that one out.

* * *

AFTER FALLING INTO a dark hole when she was running through the forest, Evie finds herself trapped in a strange new world that mirrors our own. Her only guide is a compass stick given to her by an angry gnome who lives in an ancient knobby tree. As she travels through the lands of this upside-down world she happens upon creatures that are twisted versions of fairytale folklore. A place where fairies bite, unicorns charge, mermaids are menacing, and nightmares are more than dreams. A world where the souls of those who could not follow the unspoken rules are trapped forever.

As a southern girl born on the wrong side of the tracks, Evie relies on the wisdom passed down by her grandpappy and the haunting memories of her mama to teach her perseverance of the soul. She learns that things are rarely what they seem as her world is turned upside down.

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter by [Hutton, Robert]

This is the incredible tale of Operation Fifth Column, a Second World War MI5 operation so secret that its existence was only revealed by the National Archives for the first time in 2014.

It’s the true story behind Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription” and Anthony Quinn’s “Our Friends In Berlin”.

Throughout the war, “Jack King” – in reality, a bank clerk named Eric Roberts – pretended to be a Gestapo agent to whom hundreds of British-based Nazi sympathisers and informers passed their secrets, thinking that he was sending them back to Germany. Many were put on a salary by what they thought was the Third Reich and some were even ‘awarded’ Iron Crosses for their services to the Fatherland; they never found out the truth.

Among the secrets they tried to pass were: a tip-off about Bletchley Park; details of the deadly Mosquito bomber; complete plans of a highly effective anti-radar technology codenamed WINDOW. The larger-than-life characters who populate the book include Roberts himself, the deceptively ordinary-seeming bank clerk; Maxwell Knight, who recruited Roberts; Victor Third Baron Rothschild, Roberts’ spymaster, who did a sideline in bomb disposal using his Cartier screwdrivers; Theresa Clay, the distinguished biologist who co-ran the operation with Rothschild, but because she was a woman was only ever classified as an ‘assistant’; Marita Perigoe, possibly the most dangerous of the fascists, who despite having her suspicions about Roberts, continued to recruit spies for him and pass him secrets to the end of the war.


Weekly Wrap-Up: January 20th through January 26th 2019

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Dark Alpha’s Awakening—review coming February 5th, 2019

Let’s Talk About Sext—review coming February 19th, 2019

Keeping Lucy—review coming August 6th, 2019

My Favorite Cowboy—review coming Feburary 26th, 2019

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Illegally Yours—review here

Katie’s Highlander—review here

The Secret Bloodline—review here

Death March Escape—review here

The Gilded Wolves—review here

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

Weekly-Wrap Up Saturday

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Death March Escape by Jack J. Hersch

5 Stars

Publisher: Frontline Books

Date of publication: January 19th, 2019

Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Memoirs

Where to find Death March Escape: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

In June 1944, the Nazis locked eighteen-year-old Dave Hersch into a railroad boxcar and shipped him from his hometown of Dej, Hungary, to Mauthausen Concentration Camp, the harshest, cruelest camp in the Reich. After ten months in the granite mines of Mauthausen’s nearby sub-camp, Gusen, he weighed less than 80lbs, nothing but skin and bones.

Somehow surviving the relentless horrors of these two brutal camps, as Allied forces drew near Dave was forced to join a death march to Gunskirchen Concentration Camp, over thirty miles away. Soon after the start of the march, and more dead than alive, Dave summoned a burst of energy he did not know he had and escaped. Quickly recaptured, he managed to avoid being killed by the guards. Put on another death march a few days later, he achieved the impossible: he escaped again.

Dave often told his story of survival and escape, and his son, Jack, thought he knew it well. But years after his father’s death, he came across a photograph of his father on, of all places, the Mauthausen Memorial’s website. It was an image he had never seen before – and it propelled him on an intensely personal journey of discovery.

Using only his father’s words for guidance, Jack takes us along as he flies to Europe to learn the secrets behind the photograph, secrets his father never told of his time in the camps. Beginning in the verdant hills of his father’s Hungarian hometown, we travel with Jack to the foreboding rock mines of Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps, to the dust-choked roads and intersections of the death marches, and, finally, to the makeshift hiding places of his father’s rescuers. We accompany Jack’s every step as he describes the unimaginable: what his father must have seen and felt while struggling to survive in the most abominable places on earth.

In a warm and emotionally engaging story, Jack digs deeply into both his father’s life and his own, revisiting – and reflecting on – his father’s time at the hands of the Nazis during the last year of the Second World War, when more than mere survival was at stake – the fate of humanity itself hung in the balance.


My review:

It is rare that I read nonfiction. It is even rarer that I review it. I do make an exception for anything written about WW2 and the Holocaust. When I was approached by the publisher to review Death March Escape, I accepted without hesitation.

This book was haunting. Excellent but haunting. The author did a fantastic job of telling the story of his father’s escapes from 2 different points of views. The first being his father’s point of view. The second being his. Jack’s story was intertwined with his father. He would write about the Seder where his father told him the story of his escapes. Then he would write about what he did. His journey to Mauthausen and Gusen. His following of his father’s escape routes. It was amazing to read. I don’t like it when a book does that. But, in this book, it worked.

There are some brutal scenes in this book. This book will make you cry. From the minute Jack’s father is separated from his mother to the scene where he is liberated, I cried. Like Jack, I did wonder at how this 17/18-year-old boy survived mentally. Like Jack, I came to the conclusion that he had to disassociate from everything that he was seeing/experiencing. That is the only way he survived.

I also had tears during Jack’s part of the book. He had grown up with tales of his father’s imprisonment. It wasn’t until he actually went to Mauthausen and Gusen that he understood exactly what his father went through. Those were some of the toughest scenes to read. Knowing what he did, seeing the concentration camps and then realizing that his father glossed over what happened. My heart broke for him.

This was not an easy book to read. Nothing that is written about the Holocaust is. But, it needs to be read. That way future generations can learn.


I would give Death March Escape an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is violence. There is some mild language. There are trigger warnings. They would be concentration camps, separation of family, the death of parents, the death of siblings and extreme cruelty. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Death March Escape. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Death March Escape.

All opinions stated in this review of Death March Escape are mine.

Weekly Wrap-Up: January 13th through January 19th, 2019

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page): 

Montauk—review coming June 4th, 2019

Moonlight & Whiskey—review coming March 12th, 2019

In Another Life—review coming March 20th, 2019

The Last Letter—review coming February 26th, 2019

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Hangman’s Secret—review here

Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants—review here

The Perfect Liar—review here

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave—review here

First Grave on the Right—here and here

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap-Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

WWW Wednesday: January 16th, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal

I came down with the cold that Miss R had over the weekend. I usually don’t get sick-sick but I was sick with this one. I ended up taking liquid Dayquil and Nightquil to lessen the symptoms. Yeah, that worked out well. I believe one of them counteracted with one of the medications I am on. But, saying that, I am on the downside of the cold and am feeling fine!!

Last night, Miss R decided that she would draw a beard and a mustache on herself….with a marker. Where was I? Folding laundry. I thought she was with Mr. Z. I only found out when I went to give her a shower and she wouldn’t uncover the lower half of her face. As of this morning, it still wasn’t off (and believe me, I tried). So she went to school like that. The teachers and the preschool director thought it was great.

Mr. Z had his DARE graduation last Friday. Which I was supposed to go to. I didn’t find out until he said something that afternoon. I felt awful.

Miss B seems to have learned from her disastrous first semester at school. We discussed what was going to happen during the second semester. She is thrilled that she won’t be doing PE anymore this year. Instead, she will be doing Discovering Computer Programming (or something very similar, I can’t remember). It is mandatory that 6th and 7th graders take a keyboarding/computer class both years. Her only complaint is that the computer classrooms are on the 3rd floor of the school and everything else is on the 1st floor. And she has 3 mins to get to class.

Reading/Reviews:

Nothing has changed from last week reading or review wise. I am still caught up (even with being sick!!).

I have been doing some minor touch-ups on my blog. I finally found a template that I love. I also have been going through my back posts (since 2013 and yes, I am crazy) and updating them. Fixing links, updating covers, deleting reviews for books that aren’t on Amazon anymore….that stuff. It’s tedious but it needed to be done!!

I also have been converting everything to the new blocks that WordPress is using. I was iffy about those at first but I am beginning to like them.

I also have cleaned up my NetGalley bio. I did a google, found a great blog post on what to put in it and updated it. So, I have been busy.


What I am currently reading:

click on the picture for Amazon link

Montauk, Long Island, 1938.

A simple town on the brink of a glamorous future.

A marriage drifting apart.

A life on the edge of what is and what could be...

An epic and cinematic novel by debut author Nicola Harrison, Montauk captures the glamour and extravagance of a summer by the sea with the story of a woman torn between the life she chose and the life she desires.

Montauk, Long Island, 1938. 

For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor—a two-hundred room seaside hotel—while Harry pursues other interests in the city. 

College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage, she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was. 

As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future. 

Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has when fates conspire to tear her world apart…

I am only a half chapter into Montauk but so far, I like it. I’m hoping that I keep on liking it. We’ll see. Montauk is currently on preorder. Its expected publication date is June 4th, 2019. Look for my review after that date.


What I recently finished reading:

When life gives you curves, you gotta learn how to rock them.

Successful businesswoman Avery Barrows likes her dips and curves, but she’s sick of the haters telling her that she should be ashamed of her body instead of embracing it. Determined to send them a big f*** you, Avery resolves to cut loose during a girls’ trip, hightailing her quick-mouthed, plus-sized self to New Orleans. So, what’s a smart woman with a little extra gotta do to get laid in this town?

Not much if you ask Declan McGinn, the lead singer of BlackSmith. Tall, dark, and tattooed, with a body made for sin, Declan prefers his women as curvy as his guitars. Avery’s sharp tongue and keen mind makes him want her even more.

As they burn up the sheets, Avery and Declan realize this is no one-night (or even one-week) stand. But for all of her bluster, Avery isn’t sure she can handle any more rejection. Besides, Declan has demons of his own. Now Avery has a choice to make: play it safe, or place her trust in the hands of a man who’s as tempting as the devil himself.

I don’t even know where to begin with this book. It was a hot, sexy, erotic, emotional read for me. I was in tears reading it. Tears from laughing and also because it struck a nerve in me. Moonlight & Whiskey is currently on preorder. It’s expected publication date is March 12th, 2019. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)

Ben Zelig thinks he has his life all figured out. Graduate from rabbinical school. Get hired by a spiritually enriched community. Meet a nice Jewish girl and start a family. Simple, right? Naturally, nothing goes according to plan, but life can still work out as long as you have Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants. 

Herb Freed, the author of the timeless love story Bashert, is back with a collection of five short stories about the smart, witty, spiritual and, according to his mother, incredibly handsome, Rabbi Ben Zelig. In five stories about a rabbi’s life, Zelig navigates romance, family ties, colorful congregants and the meaning of faith. We follow him through the decades as master storyteller Freed takes us from humor to pathos and back again in an uplifting examination of what it means to be human. 

I almost never read or review faith-based books. But when I read the blurb for Love, Faith, and a Pair of Pants, I decided to give it a chance. Hopefully, I like it. Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants is currently available to buy. Be on the lookout for my review by the end of the week/beginning of next week.

What if your destiny was beyond imagining? 
Dolma was happy with her life 
working at the Dexter Corporation from home in a telecommuting position. She didn’t have a boyfriend, and the prospects were not good in that department, but she was used to it. 
The world suddenly changed one day. 
Her boss, Jessica, demanded that she start working from the office. Her roommate started urging her to take the new position. Everybody was suddenly making demands of her that seemed to be coordinated. 
She met a man that she had dreamed of, and he told her that she was in danger. The man was Lucas, and he told her of two great houses, each wanting her to join them, and that they would try to kill her if she did not join them. 
Dolma was suddenly thrust into a world of immortals with strange powers, and she realized that her future was uncertain. Lucas assured her that she could become the most powerful of them all, but before that happened, 
she would have to leave with him. 
Together, they flee from the two bloodlines of the gods, and Lucas begins to train Dolma in how to use her dormant powers. The danger and the protective nature of Lucas, along with some unbelievably wonderful sex tells Dolma that Lucas is the man that she would love. 
Will they have the chance to be happy together, or would death come for them both?

Again, another book where the blurb called to me. From what I read, it seems to be good. Hopefully, it lives up to my expectations. The Secret Bloodline is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review at some point next week.

Audrey Martinez is a veterinarian who has devoted her whole life to the care and protection of horses—even if doing so leaves her little time for meeting a man. Who would have thought that a strange case of criminal horseplay would lead her to fall deeply, wildly in love? If only the man who makes her heart race faster than a wild mustang would let his guard down, that is. . .

Caleb Harper is no ordinary cowboy. Sure, he wears his hat, boots, and jeans like a second skin, and displays an easygoing charm that comes from years of working on the ranch. But with his military background, and Army buddies at his side, he is tried-and-true Texas tough. Audrey knows she can trust a man like Caleb to help her save horses. But can Caleb trust himself to resist his attraction to Audrey—or will the sparks of their desire end up getting them burned?

When I saw the words military and cowboy, I knew that I needed to read this book. Plus, I liked the cover. He kinda reminds me of Wayne in Letterkenny. My Favorite Cowboy is currently on preorder. It’s expected publication date is February 26th. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.

From the author of Rust & Stardust comes this heartbreaking story, inspired by true events, of how far one mother must go to protect her daughter. 

Dover, Massachusetts, 1969. Ginny Richardson’s heart was torn open when her baby girl, Lucy, born with Down Syndrome, was taken from her. Under pressure from his powerful family, her husband, Ab, sent Lucy away to Willowridge, a special school for the “feeble-minded.” Ab tried to convince Ginny it was for the best. That they should grieve for their daughter as though she were dead. That they should try to move on. 

But two years later, when Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, shows her a series of articles exposing Willowridge as a hell-on-earth–its squalid hallways filled with neglected children–she knows she can’t leave her daughter there. With Ginny’s six-year-old son in tow, Ginny and Marsha drive to the school to see Lucy for themselves. What they find sets their course on a heart-racing journey across state lines—turning Ginny into a fugitive.

For the first time, Ginny must test her own strength and face the world head-on as she fights Ab and his domineering father for the right to keep Lucy. Racing from Massachusetts to the beaches of Atlantic City, through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to a roadside mermaid show in Florida, Keeping Lucy is a searing portrait of just how far a mother’s love can take her.

I needed to read this book. I had enjoyed the other book written by the author and figured that this one would be just as good. The blurb makes it seem so. Keeping Lucy is currently on preorder. It’s expected publication date is August 6th, 2019. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.

Her: Unstoppable, workaholic, driven force of nature.

Him: The exact opposite of that.

Phebe Stark needs a punching bag. No, on second thought, she needs a donut. No, on third thought, she needs to escape into a dark bar with a strong drink. She’s just been harassed, for the umpteenth time, by the slimy supervisor standing between her and a shattered glass ceiling at her high-pressure Atlanta firm. But then a tall, bearded, sexy lumberjack of a bartender saunters over, and suddenly Phebe knows she doesn’t need gin . . . she needs him.

Brody Cantrell didn’t exactly intend to become a bartender. He planned to help out at his ailing uncle’s bar for a year, then get an advanced degree and rise to the top of his field. Instead, he got a Ph.D. in Real Life from his customers. Brody thinks he’s seen everything—until he meets Phebe Stark. And when he gets a load of her fearless sexting skills, he just has to see what’s under that power suit. Brody’s certain they’ll have a good time or two—nothing serious. Then again, all these steamy messages and breathless trysts have him seriously considering . . . Why not?

This is a book that I pulled from reviewing. The publisher thought it needed more polishing and took it off Loveswept’s page. So I put it as DNF but kept a close watch on it. As soon as I saw that it had been updated, I redownloaded it. So, yes, I am looking forward to reading it. I hope it is worth the wait. Let’s Talk About Sext is currently on preorder. It’s expected publication date is February 19th. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.

In June 1944, the Nazis locked eighteen-year-old Dave Hersch into a railroad boxcar and shipped him from his hometown of Dej, Hungary, to Mauthausen Concentration Camp, the harshest, cruelest camp in the Reich. After ten months in the granite mines of Mauthausen’s nearby sub-camp, Gusen, he weighed less than 80lbs, nothing but skin and bones.

Somehow surviving the relentless horrors of these two brutal camps, as Allied forces drew near Dave was forced to join a death march to Gunskirchen Concentration Camp, over thirty miles away. Soon after the start of the march, and more dead than alive, Dave summoned a burst of energy he did not know he had and escaped. Quickly recaptured, he managed to avoid being killed by the guards. Put on another death march a few days later, he achieved the impossible: he escaped again.

Dave often told his story of survival and escape, and his son, Jack, thought he knew it well. But years after his father’s death, he came across a photograph of his father on, of all places, the Mauthausen Memorial’s website. It was an image he had never seen before – and it propelled him on an intensely personal journey of discovery.

Using only his father’s words for guidance, Jack takes us along as he flies to Europe to learn the secrets behind the photograph, secrets his father never told of his time in the camps. Beginning in the verdant hills of his father’s Hungarian hometown, we travel with Jack to the foreboding rock mines of Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps, to the dust-choked roads and intersections of the death marches, and, finally, to the makeshift hiding places of his father’s rescuers. We accompany Jack’s every step as he describes the unimaginable: what his father must have seen and felt while struggling to survive in the most abominable places on earth.

In a warm and emotionally engaging story, Jack digs deeply into both his father’s life and his own, revisiting – and reflecting on – his father’s time at the hands of the Nazis during the last year of the Second World War, when more than mere survival was at stake – the fate of humanity itself hung in the balance.

I very rarely read nonfiction. Even rarer is when I review it. I think the last nonfiction book I read and reviewed was in 2016. So, a long time. But, when I read the blurb, I felt that I had to read this book. Death March Escape is currently on preorder. It’s expected publication date is January 19th. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!