05 February 2012

Review: Amongst My Enemies by William F. Brown

* From author for review *

Amongst My Enemies is the second novel I've read from author William F. Brown, and I was eager to review it based on how much I enjoyed his previous novel The Undertaker, giving it 4 stars.

It was clear from the front cover alone that this novel was going to be different, however I didn't quite expect that it would be so different from The Undertaker that it could almost have been written by a different author.  

Sometimes an author will stick to the same genre, time period, subject matter, plot mechanism or writing style but not Brown.  As I was reading Amongst My Enemies, I was surprised at the author's ability to move so seamlessly between projects  and write a book that was a stark contrast in comparison to The Undertaker.

I mentioned the front cover earlier, and I must admit that it does kind of look like a Tom Clancy spy thriller but I can reassure you that the plot is completely accessible to the average reader.  Mike Randall is an American POW in Germany towards the end of WWII, and stows away on a U-boat in an attempt to survive the war.  What he doesn't expect is to be discovered and set free off the coast of Sweden by the U-boat Captain, only to witness it being bombed, carrying it's precious cargo - crew, gold, jewels and art - to the ocean floor.

Mike has survivor guilt, but he also wants revenge, while the Germans want their gold back and will stop at nothing to get it.  Brown writes really good villains, and there are certainly a couple in Amongst My Enemies.

Sometimes the plots of spy thrillers can be hard to keep up with, however this definitely isn't the case here.  This was an easy and enjoyable introduction to WWII thrillers and a really great place to start if you're new to the genre. (Here's a list from Amazon.com of 13 WWII Thriller Novels if you'd like to do any further list making of books to read).

When it comes to ratings though, I didn't find Amongst My Enemies as gripping and as engrossing as The Undertaker if I'm completely honest. 

My rating = ***

Carpe Librum!

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