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Lost Kin: A Novel (Kaspar Brothers) by Steve…
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Lost Kin: A Novel (Kaspar Brothers)

by Steve Anderson

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Reunited brothers confront a secret Allied betrayal in postwar Munich. Occupied Munich, 1946: Irina, a Cossack refugee, confesses to murdering a GI, but American captain Harry Kaspar doesn't buy it. As Harry scours the devastated city for the truth, it leads him to his long-lost German brother, Max, who returned to Hitler's Germany before the war. Max has a questionable past, and he needs Harry for the cause that could redeem him: rescuing Irina's stranded clan of Cossacks who have been disowned by the Allies and are now being hunted by Soviet death squads--the cold-blooded upshot of a callous postwar policy. As a harsh winter brews, the Soviets close in and the Cold War looms, Harry and Max desperately plan for a risky last-ditch rescue on a remote stretch of the German-Czech border. A mysterious visitor from Max's darkest days shadows them. Everyone is suspect, including Harry's lover, Sabine, and Munich detective Hartmut Dietz--both of whom have pledged to help. But before the Kaspar brothers can save the innocent victims of peace, grave secrets and the deep contempt sown during the war threaten to damn them all. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction--novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.… (more)
6D (1) 6E (1) A 50 (1) fiction (1) historical fiction (1) history (1) Kaspar Brothers (1) RBU (1) to-read (9) WLS (1) WWII (1)

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This is a well-written book, but I had a hard time plowing through it. I didn’t like any of these characters. I expected to be riveted by the story since it took place in Occupied Europe in 1946, an era not addressed in most World War II fiction.

The German-born American officer Harry Kaspar is not a man of honor in my mind and his brother Max, who returned to Germany after the start of the war, is certainly no paragon of virtue. They get into a couple of tight spots together, from which they almost miraculously escape. The reader knows these two are not going to come to harm, so it takes the tension out of these tight spots.

The author wanted to make a moral point in this book, about Russians and other Soviet nationalities being forcefully repatriated after the end of the war. He uses the fictitious Ukrainian Cossacks, who fought with the Germans against the Soviets during the war as the focus for the reader’s sympathy. I didn’t feel any empathy or sympathy for them. They fought with the Germans – what did they think the Allieds would do? Reward them with homes in suburbia? The ploy of using their children as a reason for “saving” them from the Russians did not work – children are always affected by the actions and choices of their parents for good or naught.

It is easy for people born long after the war to feel outraged about the repatriation, but after all those repatriated were legally Soviet subjects and the rest of the Allied powers really had no authority to withhold them from the Soviets. There were millions of completely innocent displaced people who had to be accounted for, cared for, and resettled somewhere in the world. It was an enormous task. The entire world had just been through a brutal war that started in the late 1930s. Many atrocities occurred during that war but forced repatriation of Soviets pales compared to what 10s of millions of people suffered in my opinion.

The fact that Max Kaspar, in love with a young Cossack woman, was so deceitful in dealing with his brother, as was Irina, the young Cossack, did nothing to warm me to their cause. If the characters had been more likable and behaved more honestly with each other, maybe this story would have been more enjoyable. I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  MaggieG13 | Apr 27, 2016 |
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