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Winter Duet (Echoes #2) by Anne Barwell

Winter Duet (Echoes #2)

by Anne Barwell

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The sequel to ‘Shadowboxing’, set in wartime Nazi Germany in 1944, is just as suspenseful, thought-provoking, and often heartbreaking as the first book in the series (which should be read before this volume). It is a tale of love and betrayal, survival and revenge, and contains more than one test of personal loyalty and friendship. Other than the main characters, Kit and Michel, the whole group of secondary characters is back as well. Between the main story and all the various subplots, this novel brings to life a time that I only know from history books, stories told by my parents, and fiction. Somehow Anne Barwell’s world building made it feel as real to me as the present.

Kit and Michel are on the run, trying to make it to safety so that Kit’s knowledge of the destructive weapon the Nazis were developing can no longer be used by them – because Kit is the only one with all the information. Traveling from Berlin to Switzerland without getting detected by the Nazi authorities is problematic enough, but they can’t even relax when staying in the safe houses that offer shelter along the way. They find it more and more difficult to hide their feelings for each other – but no matter how much the Resistance wants to help, they can’t risk exposing their love for fear of the people who are supposed to shelter them turning against them.

But then it gets worse. The increased number and intensity of Allied bombings puts them in danger, they end up trying to save several people’s lives, and the Gestapo is about to close in. But the real test comes when they are separated. With no way to communicate, each man has to fight for himself and the others they encounter, hoping that their agreed “code” will eventually allow them to be reunited.

The second group this novel follows almost as closely as Kit and Michel are Resistance fighters Matt, Ken, and Liang – who are trying to get to safety. Matt and Ken have become a couple, but they also have to hide, even from their teammate. Between the two groups parts of which end up meeting and working together, some of the other characters (like Kit’s sister, Clara) whose story continues somewhat in the background, and the ever-threatening capture of everyone I was rooting for, I was glued to the pages.

Just like at the end of ‘Shadowboxing’, the story of Kit and Michel is not over at the end of ‘Winter Duet’. The temporary respite only allows everyone –including me - to take a deep breath, recharge their energy, and develop more plans. Nobody is safe yet, and all I can do is wait for the next book with bated breath.

If you want to get into World War Two history and experience events as if you were there, if you like Kit and Michel and all their friends and want to find out what they’re up to, and if you’re looking for a read that is nail-bitingly suspenseful, full of human emotions in the midst of wartime Nazi Germany, and will keep you on the edge of your seat, then you will probably like this novel.

NOTE: This book was provided by DSP Publications for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews. ( )
  SerenaYates | Oct 14, 2017 |
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Book description
Germany 1944

Hunted for treason and the information he carries, Kristopher and Michel leave their safe house to journey across Germany toward Switzerland. Caught in a series of Allied bombings, they stop to help civilians and narrowly escape capture by German forces.

While investigating a downed aircraft in the Black Forest, the two men discover an injured RAF pilot. After they are separated, Kristopher and the pilot are discovered by a German officer who claims he is not who he appears to be. Determined to find Michel again, Kristopher has to trust the stranger and hope the man is not connected to those hunting him.

Meanwhile Michel is intercepted by one of the Allied soldiers he met in Berlin. His help is needed to save one of their own.

Time quickly runs out, and loyalties are tested and betrayed as their enemies close in. Michel can only hope they reach safety before information is revealed that could compromise not only his and Kristopher’s lives, but those of the remaining members of the Allied team—if it is not already too late.
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