Fiction

Mischief

Title: Mischief
Author: Will McIlroy
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Thriller
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B005E070CC

A modern take on classic espionage.

At the start of World War II a British battleship mysteriously explodes at anchor inside a well defended home port. Given a final chance to resurrect a failed career, Intelligence Officer Richard Kast uncovers troubling evidence of espionage but his superiors whitewash the investigation and the attacks continue.

Without friends and unable to trust colleagues, Kast's pursuit of an elusive and unseen enemy becomes intensely personal, a jaded ex-boxer's stubborn physicality and resolve against the beguiling acumen and mischief of a master German spy in a shifting, deadly duel which weaves science, theater and early BBC television around real events. At stake, disclosure of illegal aid agreements between Churchill and FDR which threaten America's entry into the war and possession of a new device which revolutionizes radar and shifts the strategic balance of the war.

Similar societal outcasts, one man seeks redemption and the other retribution. Both alternate between hunter and hunted. Neither knows or expects quarter.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
McIlroy, Will

Ghosts Dancing

Title: Ghosts Dancing
Author: Steven Fortney
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: jim greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B0068UB4O2

Most Americans don’t know who Louis Riel is, nor who that remarkable people the Métis were; nor do they know that there were many important Americans influenced by the Empire-driven ideas of Manifest Destiny who had serious designs on acquiring for the United States all of what is now Canada west of Ontario from the 90th meridian to the North Pole and to the Pacific. These included US senators (Ignatius Donnelly of Minnesota), Cabinet members (William Seward of Seward’s folly) and American Presidents (US Grant, for one, briefly).
Nor are we aware that our Plains Indian Wars of the 1840-1890s were a
mirror of the Métis-First Citizen wars of the Northwest Territories of
Canada. Louie Riel, Gabriel Dumont, the Prophet Wovoka and Sitting Bull had parallel careers. Little Big Horn and Duck Lake and Tourond’s Coulee are
shadows of each other as are Wounded Knee and the disaster of the battle of
Batoche in Saskatchewan. The Battle of the Little Big Horn, the assassination
of Sitting Bull, the Ghost Dance Religion, the religious agony and execution
of Louis Riel for treason against the Queen sadly mirror each other.
These events, dramatized in Ghosts Dancing, are all recounted as David St.
Clair and his Métis friend Pilgrim journey through the Western Frontier.
Overhead, the northern lights, the Dancing Ghosts, the Wawatay—which the
Ojibwe believe to be their ancestors’ spirits—swirl, warning of impending
peril.
With each on his own quest, David St. Clair and Pilgrim wander through the
recently surrendered lands of the Native Americans. Portrayed here is the
nightmare vision Riel’s execution and of the Wounded Knee Massacre. We see it clearly, as we have seen so much of the narrative, through St. Clair’s
eyes; but nothing could have prepared him for that bitter day of December 29, 1890. Sickened by what he witnesses, and powerless to do anything about it, his breaking point comes when he sees a fleeing Sioux mother pitilessly cut down from behind by a soldier’s rifle shot. St. Clair’s universe implodes in an instant and he sees, in his mind’s and heart’s eye, his childhood home and his father’s and mother’s lives being destroyed as the Sioux innocents’ lives are being destroyed in front of him.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Fortney, Steven

No Paved Road To Freedom

Title: No Paved Road To Freedom
Author: Sharon Rushton
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Weymouth Symmes

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 098313040X

No Paved Road To Freedom is a gripping and emotional story that humanizes the impact of communist occupation in Romania after World War II. It is relevant, it inspires, and it reminds us that freedom is precious. Based on a true story, it documents the extraordinary courage of Cornel Dolana and his family as they pay an incredible price for resisting communism. Cornel makes up his mind to escape the oppression and uses his ingenuity to put his plan in place. His fortitude keeps him moving toward his goal, despite enduring enormous setbacks, brutality, and extreme outdoor elements that few humans could survive.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Rushton, Sharon

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