J Gunnar Grey - Deal with the Devil, Part 1

Publisher: Astraea Press

ISBN: 978-1-936852-26-0

My rating: 4/5


Wehrmacht Major Faust has a dangerous secret: he likes England. But it’s May 1940 and his Panzers are blasting the British Army off Dunkirk’s beach, so he keeps his mouth shut even though it hurts. When the Waffen SS try to murder their English prisoners of war, Faust helps the POWs escape. Now it’s treason, with his neck on the line.
Then a friend gets him drunk, straps him into a parachute, and throws him out over Oxford during a bombing run. He’s quickly caught. Because he helped type the battle plan for the invasion of England, Faust cannot allow himself to be broken in interrogation. Two German armies depend on it. But every time he escapes, someone rapes and murders a woman and the English are looking for someone to hang. He’s risking disaster if he stays, someone else’s life if he runs, and execution by the Gestapo if he makes it home.
Major Stoner, professor turned British intelligence officer, sees three possibilities. Faust perhaps was joyriding in that bomber, as he claims. Or he’s on a reconnaissance mission for the German invasion. Or he’s a spy. Stoner must break Faust to learn the truth, no matter how it strains his old heart. He must save England, and his granddaughter.
Their battlefield is confined to a desktop. Only one of them can win. Someone must break. Someone must make a Deal with the Devil. (www.astraeapress.com)



My thoughts

Okay, if there's anything I DO NOT LIKE it's the words "To be continued..." :-(

Well, fair enough you've seen already that I've given this story 4/5, so yes, you obviously figured out , I did liked it.

I admit, this is so not what I usually read. The whole WWII thing, history - it's just not my cup of tea ..... and, okay I admit, I always feel WWII stories have a tendency to be lopsided in my humble opinion. BUT I'm glad I've read this one! I honestly am.

So in part one of the story (still can't get over that "To be continued..." fact) a German soldier, Major Hans-Joachim Faust (loved Hackney's comment "Whatever he just called you, I can't pronounce it") is captured in the English country side after a joy ride on a German plane goes terribly wrong. Now he's in the hands of English Major Stoner who is determined to find out what Faust's reason had really been to be on that plane.

It took me a few pages to get into the story. Initially all the descriptions irritated me, but once I sat back, re-read the start and concentrated on just those descriptions, I had the whole story in front of me and couldn't stop. The characters are great, the English very English and Faust, "the German" .... well, not really a WWII German soldier, but jeez, one of the most solid and interesting characters I've come across in a long time. The dialogue between the two men, Faust and Stoner, are interesting and intriguing to a point I felt like Grey was playing the same dialogue game with the me. It was a give and take of how much Grey wanted us to know about the characters, to learn and to like. Then we hear of the first murder and all the characters we have met and formed an opinion of are thrown up in the the air and as a reader we are left confused and not sure who to trust.

Great stuff, great read and I can't wait for Part 2 to make its way onto my desk. Well done, J Gunnar Grey !!!!







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