by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey
I received an offer from Revell/Baker Publishing Group to join the blog book tour forThe Swiss Courier a while back. There were a lot of very positive reviews out there. Since I am a huge fan of historical fiction and this was an era that I didn't have fiction from, I agreed and looked forward to reading the book.
From the publishers: Award-winning authors Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey join forces for the first time with the release of their thrilling World War II-era fiction novel, The Swiss Courier.
Set in Switzerland during August 1944, The Swiss Courier whisks readers into the height of World War II as Nazi threats mount and governments race to develop the world’s first atomic bomb.
Gabi Mueller is a young Swiss-American woman working as a spy for the newly formed American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) close to Nazi Germany. She is asked to put her life on the line to safely “courier” a defecting German nuclear physicist—who’s working on the atomic bomb project—out of Germany and into Switzerland, sending her into enemy territory to keep him (and his secrets) safe from the hands of the Gestapo.
As Gabi takes on this do-or-die mission, 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. Well-researched, The Swiss Courier includes true historical events to give the story greater authenticity. Danger, suspense and romance abound in this engaging page-turner.
Revell/Baker Publishing asks that as a member of the book tour I post my own review and I've had little problem with enthusiastic endorsements about the books I've read prior. This review has been a little harder; maybe given the seriousness of the subject matter and the era that it addresses I had higher expectations. While I thought The Swiss Courier was a good book, I'm not sure it lives up to the kudos I had read about it. Perhaps it is the limited size that limited the detail of the book.
It was pretty fast paced, but the characters were lacking in dimension. The main character Gabi Mueller is definitely sweet and likable. She is certainly a naïve young woman with limited vision. There were some rather stereotypical descriptions of secondary characters that included barmaids' bosoms and paramours that seemed unnecessary and interrupted the flow. If one were to only read this book as an account of the underground movement that defied Hitler, the reader might believe that only non-denominational Christians were the only members of the brave people who rescued, hid and transported to safety, the Jews who were brutally annihilated by the Nazi regime.
All in all it was a good book. If I were given to "stars" or "bookmark" ranking systems, I would give it a three and a half out of five. There are definitely some surprising twists and if you are looking for a Christian romance this would be a book you would enjoy.
Thanks to Revell/Baker Publishing for the copy of The Swiss Courier. Available October 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.