Clark's Eye on Books

Clark I reviews books and sometimes writes them!

Amongst My Enemies - William F. Brown, Author

Amongst My Enemies – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds
Four months ago, their B-17 took off into a clear, Italian sky for the long leg north to Berlin.  They hit their marks and dropped their bombs, but before they could make the big turn west, the German flank guns found them.  A B-17 is a tough bird and Lieutenant Jensen, their pilot, fought hard to keep it in the air as they lumbered north and east, out of control.  The smoke and flames got worse and worse inside, until the plan went into a steep dive.  Mike and Eddie clawed their way to a side door and bailed out, but they were the only ones who made it.  They came down in a muddy wheat field somewhere in East Prussia.  Long columns of refugees choked the roads heading west, desperate to stay ahead of the Russians.  Discarded furniture, mattresses, pianos, steamer trunks, and suitcases lay strewn along the roadside.  He and Eddie found some civilian clothes and it was easy for them to blend in – not that it mattered.  Two days later, they were stopped by a German Military Police roadblock, and the joke was on them.  The Germans weren’t looking for American airmen.  They were looking for strong backs to dig tank traps and clear rubble.  Instead of a POW camp or being thrown against the closest wall and shot as spies, they were dragooned into a forced labor battalion headed north to Konigsberg.
It’s 1945 and the world is at war.  Michael Randall and Eddie Hodge were Americans who found themselves in a world of trouble as they and their fellow prisoners were huddled together in an old truck bed trying to keep from freezing.  Michael knew it was just a matter of time before their German watchdog Stolz would demand they leave the truck to start the day’s work.  As Michael looked at Eddie he knew it would just be a matter of time before his life would be ended one way or another.  He would either die due to the gangrene that had started eating away at his feet and legs or be shot by Stolz for not carrying his load of the work.  Eddie’s solution was for Michael to find a way to put him out of his misery, which with a heavy heart, he did.  Now he had to live with his guilt and his promise to not let those responsible get away with what they had done.  This promise became the heart of Michael’s existence.  He would make them pay and pay dearly.
Amongst My Enemies takes you on a tour of the world as Michael is put into a position that provides for his rescue from his capturers just before their vessel is attacked in Swedish waters.  Before dying Eddie had also made Michael promise to visit his father and sister in South Carolina to explain to them what really happened and why.  But his real promise came into place when a Charleston newspaper stated that Admiral Eric Bruckner was coming to New York.  That simply wasn’t possible.  Admiral Bruckner was the one who put Michael in a life boat before taking his U-boat back out into deep waters.  He was also on board the U-boat when it was attacked and sunk.  Proving this became Michael’s beginning of self-recovery and keeping his promise to Eddie.  He just didn’t know what trouble he was about to step into. 
Michael’s travels take him back to the coast of Sweden as he and a small group search for the sunken U-boat expose the imposter.  This will bring the Russians in as they try to destroy the find preventing the world from knowing about their infiltration into other countries defense systems.  It will bring in the Germans who had stripped the U-boat and loaded it with gold, jewels and art work that had been collected throughout the war.  Will Michael be strong and smart enough to succeed?  Will the Germans recover the loot inside the boat?  Or will the Russians blow it all to keep their ruse running?
I’m not a fan of war stories and seriously thought about having my friend who sometimes helps me read this book and do the review.  Glad I didn’t.  The more I read, the more I wanted to read.  It held my attention to the very end.  Great book!

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