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Book Review: The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

Published by Revell a division of Baker Publishing in October 2009/336 pages
Historical Fiction/World War II/Espionage/Romance/Holocaust

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The time period is late summer 1944. The D-day invasion of Normandy had taken place earlier in the summer and the Allied troops are fighting their way to Germany. Some in Germany including those in the Nazi party are disillusioned with Hitler and believe that his dream that he had for Germany, is unraveling and will come to destroy Germany. A briefcase explodes near Hitler during a military meeting that was meant to kill Hitler, he escapes with injuries, and rebounds by rounding up anyone he feels is a threat. The murderous rampage of the Holocaust is continuing in Europe. Meanwhile, scientists are working on a bomb that will give anyone within its ability to create and harness it, ultimate power. These are the dramatic events that create the environment for Gabi Mueller. Gabi is a lovely young Christian woman that is the daughter of an American father and a Swiss mother. Gabi has 2 younger twin brothers. They live in Switzerland. Gabi works for the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the CIA). This new group created by the American government works to retrieve important information for the Allied war effort. Gabi is enlisted to be a courier for an important refugee needing to leave Germany.

I enjoy reading on World War II. I especially loved this books researched and graphic information about this time period. All throughout the book information is given to create the atmosphere of the time period: Marlene Dietrich's movie Blue Angel, the book Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, Jesse Owen's winning at the Olympic Games in Berlin, history of the Swiss flag, Nuremberg Laws, Hedy Lamarr, and history of University of Heidelberg.
There is suspense and intrigue in this essentially spying during World War II. As in any spying there are double agents, those that are not as they want us to believe. I predicted that this would happen, but was pleased that it was not overtly obvious.
I feel that this was a well-written story and enjoyed reading it.
I only have 1 negative comment. The front cover-- (forgive me if this is superfluous) but the girl on the front cover of the book is such a lovely girl--really perfect, with very blond hair, flawless skin, perfectly erect posture, pouty red lips, rosy cheeked, large wide-set eyes, cute little ears----enough already!
Reminds me a little of a Disney movie with Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella.
I believe I would have taken the book a little more seriously, if the front cover was of a more accurate woman that is working for the government during a war.
Wouldn't it be "original" if the main character--girl was just average looking, but pleasant enough, maybe  10-20 pounds over-weight, no make-up (not much make-up available during WWII, especially in Europe during the war) civilians were more concerned about eating and staying alive. I would have loved to see on the front cover maybe one of the male characters in the book. I want to encourage publishers to not always go with the flow with the chosen front covers of books, be original, come on you can do it!

Blissful Reading!


Mark said…
I really enjoyed this one too - and good point about the cover
Mike Yorkey said…
Dear Annette: thank you for your review of The Swiss Courier, which I co-authored with Tricia Goyer. I happen to be in Switzerland right now, and your readers may be interested to know that there will be a sequel called "The Mona Lisa Is Missing," which will be released in January 2012.

Your comments about the cover were quite interesting to me because the evidence is becoming clearer that the cover pretty much sunk "The Swiss Courier." There was much discussion about the cover before it went to print, but in the end, the decision was not ours, and we had to go with the publisher's wishes. I think you would agree that men would very much enjoy reading "The Swiss
Courier," but the female-centric cover means that men would not want to carry this book onto the subway, if you catch my drift.

Again, you can't review every book, so thanks for choosing "The Swiss Courier" and thanks for giving our thriller a close read. I think it's a special story . . .
Annette said…
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a gracious comment!
World War II books have a big interest to me because my dad is a Veteran. He was in the 2nd Infantry Division, 2nd Signal Company.
Dad is a D-day Veteran and of course was in the Battle of the Bulge. He was taken capture for a brief time during the Battle of the Bulge, he escaped.
Thank you for letting me know about the future book coming out I will be keeping my eye out for it!