The Night Drop Resistance in the Marshlands, published copyright and written by Ian D. Wright.
This is a most interesting story within a story that perhaps is a little difficult to describe but fascinating to read. Briefly, the story opens in a small village in Northern France in 1965 with a young woman awakening from a horrific dream from her earlier days as part of a group of courageous local residents who were resisting the Nazi invaders. The remote area was of premier importance to both the Germans and the Allies because the Nazis were building a launching site for the newly improved V2 ‘buzz bombs’ that were wreaking havoc on England. Obviously, information about the site was of extreme importance. Her husband comforts her, and although she does not want him to leave, he must go to see an old friend to attempt finally to discover and expose the real person responsible for her dreams and more importantly, a possible eruption of a situation that could be highly disruptive to this rather provincial enclave of reclusive neighbors. Specifically, a former resident many believed to be the enemy agent responsible for deprivation and deaths among the residents during the war, was returning purportedly to prove his innocence. Jack, the husband of the young woman described above, travels to London to see his old friend Martin Yates, now editor of a trendy magazine in London, who obtains the services of two highly respected Investigative Reporters to help Jack’s investigation which provides the book’s main ‘mystery theme’ – an attempt twenty years after the war to discover and bring to justice the person still living and responsible for the distrust, deceit, deception, treachery and betrayal that increased the local residents fear, deprivation and even deaths as well as those of so many of the small group of resistance fighters who sacrificed so much in the effort. The series of activities by these courageous freedom fighters aided by two professionals dropped in to help in the closing days of the war are included in the ensuing pages so as to present a ‘war thriller’ within the content of the ‘mystery investigation’ that is the main theme of the book. Briefly and partially repetitiously, the protagonists are Jack Ross and Sophia, a lovely and courageous girl who at 14 was a valiant and seemingly fearless member of the resistance. Jack, a 24-year-old member of the British military who is sent into this northern area of interwoven rivers, streams and marshlands with Roland Keene, an American Special Ops member to obtain information about the V2 construction site. Steve and Emily are the investigative reporters Yates sends over to help Jack find the long unidentified Nazi agent. A number of other characters also perform at varying levels of importance. Most prominent and responsible for the investigation are brothers Remy and Gilbert of the local Fournier family. The two are diametrically opposite and constantly at odds with Gilbert the parental favorite. Remy, the younger brother leaves only to resurface again after the war starts. Gilbert, a disliked and only partially trusted member of the resistance group, disseminates his belief that Remy is a spy. Twenty years later Gilbert is dead and Remy, now quite ill, returns to ‘prove his innocence’. The town’s hostilities again resurface and is the reason Jack, Sophia, Steve and Emily attempt to bring closure to the long smoldering situation.
Discussion: To reiterate, this is a somewhat difficult to present, quite involved, story within a story that provision of more details would be a disservice to the prospective reader. Suffice it to say, that it provides tales in both the ‘war thriller’ and ‘mystery’ genres that should satisfy devotees of either or both.
5* Historical; especially for devotees of ‘war thriller’ and/or ‘mystery’ tales.