Friday 20 January 2023

Review - The German Messenger by M.J. Hollows

The German Messenger by M.J. Hollows
Publisher: H.Q. Digital
Release date: 20 January 2023
Back cover blurb: As the bombs fall, the race to save her son begins. Liverpool, 1940. Journalist Ruth Holt is struggling in the terror of the Blitz when her young son is suddenly snatched away in broad daylight. Soon after, the kidnappers’ demands arrive. They are working with the Nazis, and she has no choice but to co-operate, or the authorities will learn that she is harbouring secrets of her own. Ruth’s job gives her access to critical information, and if she does not share it with Britain’s enemies, her child will face the consequences. Desperate, she falsifies information, lying to everyone: her employers, her family and her lover. But as the demands increase, the knife edge she walks on grows increasingly thin. If she falls, she will never save her son. A powerful and heartbreaking WWII historical novel for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Nightingale and Beneath a Scarlet Sky.

The German Messenger is the first M.J. Hollows book that I have read, but it certainly won't be the last. It is beautifully written, and captures the period effortlessly.

1940, Liverpool is one of the most heavily sustained bombing areas outside London by the German Luftwaffe.

Ruth Holt, a journalist, volunteers with Women's Voluntary Services during the raids, to help others, but also to get a feel of what's going on in the city. Something she wouldn't be able to access in an air raid shelter.

Her son George, has returned from the countryside unannounced. Clearly neither he, nor his billeted family were enamoured with the evacuee situation.

Anthony Lloyd is a teacher by day, and an air raid warden at night. Ensuring that people are getting to safety, and those who wise to stay at home are observing regulations such as black out restrictions.

In usual circumstances their paths would never cross. But this is WW2 and nothing is the same as it was. They meet on duty one night, early on the bombing campaign. Both hoping that they'll never see the other again.

Anthony is initially suspicious of Ruth, not least because she is a journalist, but he thinks that she is hiding something. He is right.

Ruth is hiding her ancestory, for although she is British, there are some who would view her family as the enemy. When George is kidnapped, Ruth's fears that her family history is going to leave her unable to survive the war.

And so begins a fight to find and take back her son, no matter what the cost.

The German Messenger is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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