Footsteps to Forever: A World War II Historical Thriller
Author: Richard (Sam) Baty
Publisher: iUniverse (2008)
Binding: Paperback, 324 pages
Footsteps, like Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls and Wouk's The Winds of War, is a story filled with suspense, romance, and sudden violence. It is 1941, only days after the attack at Pearl Harbor plunges America into the war. Two young U.S. Army lieutenants -- Jennifer Haraldsson, a beautiful nurse, and Jonathan Partude, who falls in love with her almost at first sight -- receive a secret assignment from Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Marshall to rescue a top U.S. nuclear physicist from Norway, which has been occupied by German forces.
President Roosevelt, warned that the Germans might be on the verge of developing terrible new atomic weapons, had asked the elderly physicist, James Flannigan, to spy on a plant in Norway believed to be producing the "heavy water" needed for the manufacture of such weapons.
Haraldsson and "Dude" Partude, who are fluent in Norwegian and excellent skiers, must find Flannigan and help him escape across treacherous mountains to the seacoast, where they expect to be picked up by a waiting submarine. All three are fully aware that the ailing Flannigan must not be allowed to fall into enemy hands.
Chased by the enemy, hampered by the physicist's deteriorating health, impacted by a blossoming romance, and faced with harsh winter conditions, the two young Americans and their allies struggle to avoid disaster. An epic battle occurs at the water's edge with results that echo throughout the novel.
Germany has declared war on the United States, and President Roosevelt's prized physicist, James Flannigan, sent to Norway in the late thirties to spy on the German's progress in developing an atomic weapon, is now behind enemy lines.
Army Chief of Staff George Marshall selects Lieutenant's Jonathon Partude and Jennifer Haraldsson to make a decision of a lifetime.
He has asked them to rescue James Flannigan and keep him away from the Germans. General Marshall has selected the two Army Officers because of their fluent knowledge of Norwegian, they are excellent skiers, and Jennifer's nursing background will come in handy because of Flannigan's health is slipping. Their decision is monumental, and its impact stretches to the end of World War II and beyond.
First-time novelist, R. Samuel Baty is a retired US Air Force officer and a retired chief scientist. He has a PhD. In Engineering from UCLA and is currently an adjunct professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He has authored numerous technical reports, been interviewed in prestigious journals, and is an avid reader of World War II history. He lives in Albuquerque with his wife, Linda
Reviewed by: Bob Ruehrdanz (2010)