Debut author Karl Wegener introduces us to his dramatic novel set after WW 2:
Grown Men Cry Out at Night is set in 1946 and it is a story about three people whose lives are thrown together in post-war Germany as they work together to track down a Gestapo officer accused of war crimes.
Caspar Lehman is a battle-weary U.S. Army Counterintelligence agent assigned to lead a counterintelligence detachment in Bremen Enclave. His service during the war has left him emotionally scarred. He suffers from what today we would call post-traumatic stress, but in 1946 was called "shell shock" or "battle fatigue." Upon his arrival at his new unit, Lehman is given orders to capture the Gestapo officer responsible for the death of thousands of POWs who worked under horrific conditions at the Valentin Bunker, a massive U-boat construction facility located in a nearby Bremen suburb.
Ludmilla Haas is a Polish woman from Gdansk and former British SOE agent who is now searching for her husband, a Polish resistance fighter who was last seen being herded onto a cattle-car outside the Valentin Bunker. Haas was a hero during the war and fought to liberate not only her native Poland, but France as well. However, she has struggled to find meaning and a place for herself after the war. She is a woman who has lost everything. She's lost her husband, her family, and her country, which is now under Soviet control.
Lehman discovers his own family is complicit in carrying out the war crimes he seeks to avenge. He discovers a cousin named Therese Weber who still lives in Bremen and who was the chief accountant for the civilian construction company responsible for building the bunker. Weber has the detailed knowledge necessary to help Lehman and Haas capture those responsible for the deaths of thousands and hold them accountable. She literally knows where the bodies are buried, and who buried them.
The question is, will she cooperate?
Historical fiction is my third favorite genre. I particularly enjoy stories with a wartime setting. This story hits my hot buttons quite well.
The author wove three different storylines into one and did a masterful job considering this is his first book. I am really impressed!
Cap is my favorite character because he is so methodical and egalitarian. I like Luba a great deal for her resourcefulness and quick thinking under pressure. They make a great team.
Even better, there is the hint of a larger conspiracy and more to come. I certainly hope so! This story deserves to continue.
I give this story 4.8 stars!
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War, combat, spies, political intrigue
Copyright @ 2023 Mark L. Schultz except for the author’s introduction
Who am I?
An avid reader, typobuster, and the Hyper-Speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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