ABOUT THE BOOK:
Book 1 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.
‘Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic regatta in 1936.
The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.
As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in 1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is only one problem.
The Nussbaums are Jews.
The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of Germany’s Jews.
When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.
As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire continent into war.’
Where do I begin to tell you about this book. This book is completely different from anything Alan has written before. I have read his previous three books. Short, gritty crime novels.
When I met Alan a few years ago, he hadn’t had a book out for a while and he told me he was writing a book about the Second World War. He said it was possibly going to be a trilogy.
Now I have read books about this period before but never one so all encompassing as this one. And this is before we even get to the war proper.
Set in the year 1933 it tells the reader about the rise of the Nazi Party and the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. It also tells us about the Kästner family and also their servants the Nussbaums . The Nussbaums are the second generation of their family to be servants to the Kästner family .
The only problem with this is Nussbaums are Jewish and their lives are becoming more and more untenable in pre war Germany.
As the book progresses we find General Erich Kästner trying to protect his employees and save them from persecution. Is it a battle he can win?
Enough about the story. What stands out in this novel is the amount of research Alan has done in time, place and settings. He perfectly marries the mundane and everyday with descent into dictatorship and anarchy.
Boat trips with his sons and his wife and eldest daughter attending functions, where the wives of the new order jockey for position to further their husbands careers.
A book that at first you would think would affect the Nussbaums directly,, because of their Jewish heritage but also General Erich Kästner and his family. It is a climate that affects everyone who comes under its sway. This is a picture Alan describes so well.
This is a very long book but don’t be put off by that. I found myself to quickly become invested in the characters. I found it difficult to read, especially the treatment of the Jews, it made for uncomfortable reading but obviously necessary to the story. A book that will play on your emotions.
Highly commended and recommended !
Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.
He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren.
He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.
His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.
He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.
He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.