Monday 30 May 2011

Cold Lonely Couarge by Soren Paul Petrek

This is the first review book I have had where I have been directly approached by the author, so reviewing it will be a new experience for me.  Cold Lonely Courage tells the story of Madeline, a young French woman who becomes desperate for revenge during WW2 after her brother is killed and she is raped.  Along with a cast of supporting characters, we follow her as she is trained to be a British Special Op spy and then becomes involved in the war effort against Germany.

Petrek is a good writer.  The first few chapters did feel a bit stilted but it soon picked up and was an enjoyable read.  I didn't feel obliged to pick it up and read it; I enjoyed it.  The chapters were short, but this fit with the thriller genre and made reading easy.  The story idea was good too, and I could tell that lots of historical research had gone into writing the novel.

However, the problem I had with this book was the characters.  Apart from the German police officers Willi and Stenger, everyone was either good or evil, with not much in between.  I found it hard to believe that Madeline could ever go back to being a normal person, that she wouldn't have been deeply affected by what she was doing.  The romance part felt a bit like an uncessary add-on, as the thriller sections were much more enjoyable.  Things tied together a bit too neatly, especially compared to the gritty realism I was expecting.

Verdict: An enjoyable read but not the book for me personally
Score: 2.5 out of 5
Source: From the author, in exchange for an honest review


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  2. I appreciate nuanced characters -- there should be shades of gray, not all good or evil, and I don't like too neat endings, so am not sure this is the book for me.
    You did a very fair review :)