Last Updated on Monday, 27 August 2012 10:47 Posted by Clash Tuesday, 28 August 2012 12:30
Reviewed by *Katie McCurdy for Legacy of a Writer
About Book One, The Swiss Courier
She is risking her life to save a man she doesn't even know...But who can she trust along the way?
It is August 1944 and the Gestapo is mercilessly rounding up suspected enemies of the Third Reich. When Joseph Engel, a German physicist working on the atomic bomb, finds that he is actually a Jew, adopted by Christian parents, he must flee for his life to neutral Switzerland.
Gabi Mueller is a young Swiss-American woman working for the newly formed American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) close to Nazi Germany. When she is asked to risk her life to safely "courier" Engel out of Germany, the fate of the world rests in her hands. If she can lead him to safety, she can keep the Germans from developing nuclear capabilities.
But in a time of traitors and uncertainty, whom can she trust along the way? This fast-paced, suspenseful novel takes readers along treacherous twists and turns during a fascinating--and deadly--time in history.
About Book Two, Chasing Mona Lisa
One enigmatic smile. Two passionate protectors. And a relentlessly ticking clock.
August 1944. Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country and steal countless pieces of irreplaceable art. In fact, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all--the Mona Lisa--as a postwar bargaining chip.
But the woman with the mysterious smile has some very determined protectors. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece before it falls into German hands?
With nonstop action and intrigue, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh Swiss chateau, the race is on--and the runners are playing for keeps.
What I Loved
Funny story. I read two-thirds of the way through Chasing Mona Lisa before realizing The Swiss Courier comes first. Whoops. I will say, however, that reading them out of order didn't disrupt my journey with Gabi and Eric all that much. The rich historical detail is still very striking and the stories are as interesting as they come.
I haven't read very many WWII novels, but these have convinced me of the many stories that can be told about this time in history. Actually, these two books remind me of the Michael Phillips series, The Secret of the Rose, which I finished earlier this year. Except The Swiss Courier and Chasing Mona Lisa run at a much quicker pace.
What I Didn't Like As Much
Like Phillips' books, The Swiss Courier and Chasing Mona Lisa employ multiple points of view which helped me get a real take on every character involved. Unfortunately, this also proved a tad confusing, as there were several plot-threads to keep up with. Still, this contributed to an incredibly well-rounded (and very thoroughly researched) story. Also, there were a few scenes that made me a bit uncomfortable and seemed unnecessary.
Why I Recommend These Books
Lovers of historical fiction and romance will enjoy these two books by a talented tag-team of authors who know their WWII.