Dianne Ascroft's Reviews > The Circumstantial Enemy: An astounding, based-on-true-events WW2 thriller

The Circumstantial Enemy by John Bell
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Feb 06, 2018

it was amazing

Due to my unfamiliarity with Croatian history, I initially found it difficult to get to grips with the numerous characters and their loyalties, and the complexity of the political tensions within and between the Balkan countries and Germany. But once I understood the background, I found this a totally engrossing novel. It’s fast-paced, gripping and poignant. The characters, both noble and corrupt, were well drawn and stepped off the page for me. The author realistically portrays each of them, not shying away from disagreeable emotions and brutality where necessary to tell the story. His writing reveals the many facets of human nature as he sketches characters who create a complex, unpredictable plot. As the story unfolded to the last page, twists and turns kept me tense and guessing who would really win in the end. Like the characters, the settings are also memorable. The author has done considerable historical research to present in wonderful, vivid detail the many settings in the story, including Austrian and Croatian cities, a hospital in Italy, a detention camp in North Africa and a POW camp in America. I can heartily recommend this novel. It would interest historical fiction and thriller readers as well as anyone who enjoys a gripping, well-told story.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February, 2018 – Finished Reading
February 6, 2018 – Shelved

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