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Night Crossing by Robert Ryan
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Night Crossing

by Robert Ryan

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Robert Ryan’s historical novel Night Crossing is an intriguing blend of literary ingredients consisting of murder, World War II history, action adventure, family drama, and romance. This marvelous mix of stirring together everything a reader could want in a story, offers an engaging and interesting war-torn tale of events that are shocking, frightening and sad. Yet, Ryan pulls on the readers heart strings and serves up a healthy dose of love, hope, and determination against odds that seem unlikely to overcome. The blurb on the cover misleadingly promotes this book as more of a historical romance but I found that this is primarily an espionage filled spy novel, toting a
love-interest in the background.

Although this is a German holocaust story, the author showed great talent in describing horrific events by just touching on them lightly in the background so that the reader is aware what is happening and what abominable acts occurred, without being so graphically described that you get put off not wanting to read it. This I found appealing because a lot of WWII holocaust stories are very difficult to read, often so disturbing, not allowing people to fully learn and grasp what happened during those years of struggle and bloodshed. I was enthralled with the sections of adventure and terror beneath the seas in the German U-boats and learned a lot of what it was like for those brave men living in claustrophobic, damp and odorous conditions that often turned out to be their tombs.

Our entwined characters are a Scotland Yard British spy named Inspector Cameron Ross who starts out investigating a murder in Berlin; a young and beautiful German violinist named Ulrike Walter who inflicts tragedy upon herself in order to remove herself from her father’s overbearing protection. Erich Hinkel; her Hitler Youth soldier-boy fiance who early in the story departs for the war- cause as a U-Boat code cipher; and Alex Schuller a Berlin street cop who has high aspirations of climbing the ranks within Hitler’s reign.

The novel switchbacks from character to character as each of them experience the horrors of war in their own way, each finding hardship and pain, yet each having the perseverance to survive brought on by either the love of one woman, or by the lust for power. With mysterious coded messages traveling from Berlin to London, exciting adventures in an underwater submarine, first hand experiences of the London Blitz, a love-triangle between two men and one woman scattered across the Atlantic, and a background entity of classical musicians of the time, I cant help but say that this is a marvelous page turner that not only helped me get a clearer picture of World War II Europe and what these hardened people endured, but gave me a few nights of a truly enjoyable yarn well spun. This was the first book by this author I have read, leaving me to eagerly pick up his others. ( )
  vernefan | Dec 5, 2009 |
This is a reasonably good historical thriller taking place during WWII in Germany and England. Comparisons have been made to Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks and it is certainly a similar story involving a love triangle amoung three young people who are then separated by war. The novel follows their tragic lives. One of the interesting historical aspects of this book is the internment of Germans living in Britain. Many ordinary Germans left Germany during the 30's to escape the brutality of the Nazi movement. When war broke out these people were rounded up and sent to camps due to a fear that some of them were spies. Families were divided and property was lost. Many were transported to Canada. The irony of course was that most were anti-Nazi.
This book tells a very good story and it is an enjoyable read ( )
  bhowell | May 23, 2009 |
The star-crossed love of a British citizen and a German citizen during World War II. Apparently based on actual events, though if they were my events I'd be disappointed with how they turned out. ( )
  Elishibai | Sep 10, 2007 |
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A British cop is sent to Berlin in 1938 to investigate a fatal mugging. A twisted tale of conflict, mixed loyalties and past history by a writer whose reader base is spreading.

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