Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Peace by Richard Bausch Review

1944, southern Italy. It's the closing stages of the war and the Americans are chasing the Italian Fascists and the Nazis north and out of Italy. After the American squad encounters a Nazi ambush, 3 GIs are sent with a local Italian to scout ahead of the main group up into the mountains. 

But as they make their way up they begin to question the loyalties of the Italian - is he a harmless old man or a Fascist sympathiser leading them into another trap? As they ascend higher, the continuous rain becomes continuous snow, and they soon get close to the backs of the retreating army. And that's when the possibility of enemy snipers covering the retreat becomes very real to them...

I've never heard of Richard Bausch before but I was pleasantly surprised with this exciting historical novel. All of the characters seem genuine and their dialogue very convincing - Bausch is a talented writer who did his research well. The story - which takes place over the course of a single hellish night - is so vividly described that you can almost feel the punishing weather and exhaustion on the characters' souls. 

There were some fantastic scenes like when the American Sergeant sets a trap for the enemy sniper and then stays behind to save his wounded men, waiting. You know that scene in Saving Private Ryan when the squad ambush a machine gun nest? This book has that energy and pace throughout. 

If you're in the mood for a short read that'll keep you hooked from the first page to the last, you can't go wrong with Richard Bausch's Peace.


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