Saturday 18 December 2021

The Turn of The Tide (The Sturmtaucher Trilogy Book 3) - Alan Jones

The Turn of the Tide is the third book in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

As Hitler's greed turns eastwards to the fertile and oil rich Soviet heartlands, life for the Kästner and the Nussbaum families disintegrates and fragments as the Nazis tighten the noose on German and Polish Jews. Implementing Endlösung der Judenfrage, the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Problem’, Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich and Eichmann plan to have Germany, and Europe, Judenrein, ‘cleansed of Jews’.

General Erich Kästner, increasingly alone, fights a losing battle to protect his friends, and their fellow Jews, putting himself and his family in jeopardy.

As the tide of war turns, he looks anxiously to the Soviets in the east, and to the Western Allies, desperately hoping, despite his patriotism, that Germany is defeated before there are no Jews left in the countries occupied by the Third Reich.

When an assassination attempt on Hitler and his henchmen fails, Erich Kästner himself comes under the scrutiny of the Gestapo, and his own survival, and that of his family, becomes uncertain.

As the war draws to an end, with Germany in ruins, time is running out for the Kästners and the Nussbaums…

What did I think?

The Turn of the Tide is the stunning conclusion to the magnificent Sturmtaucher Trilogy that I have lived and breathed for the past few months.  Even when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it and now that I’ve finished it, I’ll never forget it.  It's an epic novel that took me around 20 hours to read and I simultaneously wanted to devour it quickly and savour it slowly. I opted for savouring as this is a story that’s not to be rushed. 

Although you could read The Turn of the Tide as a standalone, you really do need to read the books in order to fully appreciate the rich depth of character and the history behind the families in the book.  I can't even begin to describe this breathtaking novel but it's a story that completely consumed me as I experienced all the trials and tribulations along with each character.  I'm not ashamed to say that I cried several times, especially as the novel drew to a close, but whilst the story is terribly harrowing it's also hopeful and uplifting as the characters show strength, tenacity and resilience against pure evil.

The research that must have gone into this novel is mindblowing and Alan Jones must have dedicated a significant number of years gathering information and sifting through details.  Although the characters are fictional, it's still shocking to think that this is real history and it only happened 80 years ago.  It is a period of history that should never be forgotten and Alan Jones has played a massive part in ensuring that 'the final solution' is never wiped from our memories. 

Each book in this trilogy is an absolute masterpiece and for an author to write three books of such consistently high quality is incredible.   Alan Jones deserves every accolade that is coming his way and I can't see anybody honestly rating this book less than five stars - I would give it more if I could.  I don’t do top 10 books of the year anymore but if I did, I can guarantee that all three books of this superb trilogy would be fighting for the top spot.

Historical fiction at its absolute finest, The Turn of the Tide and the complete trilogy are simply not to be missed.  A masterpiece and an absolute triumph!

I really can't thank Alan Jones enough for sending me a digital ARC to read and review as no review I write could ever do it justice.  This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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