Review of The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

About the book:

It is August 1944 and the Gestapo is mercilessly rounding up suspected enemies of the Third Reich. When Joseph Engel, a German physicist working on the atomic bomb, finds that he is actually a Jew, adopted by Christian parents, he must flee for his life to neutral Switzerland. Gabi Mueller is a young Swiss-American woman working for the newly formed American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) close to Nazi Germany. When she is asked to risk her life to safely "courier" Engel out of Germany, the fate of the world rests in her hands. If she can lead him to safety, she can keep the Germans from developing nuclear capabilities. But in a time of traitors and uncertainty, whom can she trust along the way? This fast-paced, suspenseful novel takes readers along treacherous twists and turns during a fascinating–and deadly–time in history.

My review:

I finished The Swiss Courier last night. It was a compelling read with a lot of twists and turns. In many ways the story resembled a pure Goyer novel but this book had a slightly different voice. I enjoyed it, though I think I prefer Goyer’s voice when she writes solo. The writing in this novel flowed smoothly, though, so that was well done.

There were so many situations that seemed impossible to escape from, so the tension kept building. I also learned stuff about physics that I didn’t know like the whole issue of nuclear fission and the experiments that went with trying to split the atom. I learned about how the Swiss Government felt about the war and how they managed to stay neutral for the most part. I also never realized that some Swiss citizens entered Germany to work every day. I was educated a bit about old WWII planes and other details–I found that all very fascinating. Those were tough times, no doubt. And the double cross situations were rampant. Who could you trust when everyone was trying to stay on the Nazi’s good side so they would avoid being sent to the camps?

The romantic element was nice, though not as strong as I like, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. I didn’t know who she would choose until late in the book, so that was pretty cool. I always enjoy the surprise element in a story and the discovery of new things as you read along. If there is a sequel to this book, I’m definitely getting it. I’d recommend this story to people who love WWII era fiction and who want to learn something not commonly covered in the WWII novels currently on the shelves.

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