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Lovers in Arms

– tekijä: Osiris Brackhaus

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
183944,206 (4)-
The year is 1946, World War II is over, and the Nuremberg trials are underway. US Army Captain Frank Hawthorne is returning to Germany to testify in the military tribunal of former Nazi Officer Johann von Biehn. Despite explicit orders to the contrary, Frank is trying to save Johann's life. Three years ago, at the height of the war, Frank had been sent to kill the very man he is now defending. Much to his surprise, instead of the Nazi monster he was sent to kill, Frank found a compassionate dissenter. Johann considered the handsome young American officer the answer to his desperate prayers to save his beloved Germany from the cancerous infection of Nazi rule. What really happened between the two men during those long summer days in von Biehn's Spreewald mansion must be kept secret at any cost. With his own government forbidding Frank to reveal anything political that happened during the war, and society forcing him to conceal their personal relationship, Frank will have to find something truly unexpected to prevent Johann's all-but-certain death sentence.… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 3/3
Extended Edition includes a new epilogue.
  Bookbee1 | Aug 24, 2020 |
To find a US Army captain defending an alleged Nazi German war criminal at the Nuremberg trials in 1946 is pretty extraordinary. But Frank Hawthorne has good reason to speak up as a witness for the defense, even though he can’t give any details since they are all classified. Of course a lot of the events in this book are fictional, as are the main characters, but when I checked I found enough basis in fact for this story to be possible. With three of the twenty-four defendants of the Trial of Major War Criminals in 1946 found not guilty, I had reason to hope that Johann von Biehn, the second main character in ‘Lovers in Arms’, might be one of them. It certainly didn’t look like it for the longest time, and the author made me bite my nails and sweat proverbial bullets as the story progressed, but I was hopeful.

The story is told by Frank, an American Army captain who has returned to Germany as a witness in the trial – against orders and risking punishment himself if things get out of hand. His hands are pretty much tied as to what he can say, but he has to try to save the life of the man he fell in love with. And while the story takes place at the trial in 1946, there are flashbacks to 1943 as Frank remembers meeting Johann for the first time and falling in love. The gradual reveal of what happened between the two men and the truth about Johann was masterfully done and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Frank is under enormous pressure – he can’t tell the truth about why he abandoned his original mission of assassinating Johann and any other Nazi officials he could find at the time. All I knew for the longest time was that it must have been one heck of a reason for his superiors to have approved his actions. And when the truth did emerge, I was impressed with the genius of the author’s explanation. Things don’t look good for Johann, and given the prosecutor’s evidence, Frank is getting ready to attempt freeing Johann from jail and going on the run. Yes, he is that determined and that desperate. Talk about true love!

The final unraveling of events, Frank’s plan, and other parts of the trial made for an excellent thriller. Fictional or not – it sounded real, was very plausible, and turned out to be a great love story on top of everything else. It wasn’t just the political and judicial part that left me happy, the emotional ending was about as good as can be expected in a time where the love between two men was considered sodomy and illegal. In fact, the ending was even better than I expected, and I loved that.

If you like historical novels, if you believe that love can overcome any obstacle, and if you’re looking for a read that is suspenseful, full of mystery and revelations, has great characters, and very romantic, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It’s an impressive combination of fiction and fact and such a great story!


NOTE: This book was provided by the author for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews. ( )
  SerenaYates | Oct 14, 2017 |
Before talking of why I loved this story, I should tell you a little one myself: when my mother was only a child (she was born in 1942 in full wartime), she lived in an occupied city, Padua, by the Nazi Army. Most of the people was living in barns right outside the city, and near where they were there was a garrison of German officers; my grandfather, after years and years of wartime (he was enlisted in the Africa campaign and then Greece, and he had already lost a 3 years old child to pneumonia) had deserted the Italian army, and to be able to help his family, he was tending the German officers’ animals, mostly mules; one of these officers took sympathy on my mother, she was red-head and curly, and he said she remembered him of his own daughter, back in Germany; he brought chocolate to her and what food he could to my grandfather and grandmother; when the Army started to recede to Germany thought the Alpes, they took my grandfather with them, to tend the animals; but it was clear that he wasn’t to come back, as soon as they were at home, my father, an Italian deserter was probably to be sent to prison if not worse; the German officer told him to stay at the back of the group, and to wait for his signal; as soon as it was possible, he signaled my grandfather to run away. We don’t know what it was of the officer, we don’t even know his name, but we know he saved my grandfather’s life.

So this story of a high-ranked German officer who fell in love with the American assassin who was sent to kill him rang true to my ears. Not only that, I’m always a little weary of war stories cause they are usually tragic, with little hope for an happily ever after, and instead this one was very romantic, as light as it could be due to the matter, and yes, full of hope and with an uplifting feeling that lulled and comforted the reader during all the course of the story.

The plot develops in parallel, the story of Frank and Johann when the met, and that of 3 years later, when the war is over and Johann is under process at Nuremberg for crime against humanity. There is little Frank can do, he for sure cannot admit he was Johann’s lover and he cannot disclose his former mission; to the world’s eyes, Johann was an high-ranked German officer who was primarily involved in the Germany’s war strategies.

The love story between Frank and Johann was sudden and immediate, I did wonder if a trained assassin could really fall like that, I was always expecting for him to turn and betray Johann; on the other hand, Johann was like a romantic hero, talking of love and being the perfect lover, trusting Frank totally only for the reason he was in love; again, I thought he was maybe a little naïve, but I really liked his romantic streak, and for once, it was a joy to read a war story, and not a “tragic” experience.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1622341104/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
  elisa.rolle | Feb 28, 2014 |
näyttää 3/3
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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The year is 1946, World War II is over, and the Nuremberg trials are underway. US Army Captain Frank Hawthorne is returning to Germany to testify in the military tribunal of former Nazi Officer Johann von Biehn. Despite explicit orders to the contrary, Frank is trying to save Johann's life. Three years ago, at the height of the war, Frank had been sent to kill the very man he is now defending. Much to his surprise, instead of the Nazi monster he was sent to kill, Frank found a compassionate dissenter. Johann considered the handsome young American officer the answer to his desperate prayers to save his beloved Germany from the cancerous infection of Nazi rule. What really happened between the two men during those long summer days in von Biehn's Spreewald mansion must be kept secret at any cost. With his own government forbidding Frank to reveal anything political that happened during the war, and society forcing him to conceal their personal relationship, Frank will have to find something truly unexpected to prevent Johann's all-but-certain death sentence.

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