Feature: Trial and Tribulation

It is 1943. In the skies above war-torn Europe a savage battle continues as Allied bomber crews rain down fire and destruction on Hitlers cities and Luftwaffe fighters tear the bombers to pieces. Faced with the destruction, Churchill asks, Are we barbarians?

Back in England, after the Siege of Malta and continents away from her estranged husband, fighter pilot Johnnie Shaux, strategic military analyst Eleanor Shaux is ordered to develop plans for the systematic destruction of Hitler’s wartime economy. To do so, she must navigate the quicksand of Allied politics and face the relentless male chauvinism of the bureaucratic and military establishments on both sides of the Atlantic—not to mention battling with the qualms of her own conscience.

Meanwhile, decorated air combat hero Johnnie Shaux is at work developing ways to make Allied bombing more effective. He’s a survivor in a war in which very few survive, where casualty rates are sixty percent, and the only rule is kill or be killed. But he is finding it harder to view enemy soldiers as worthy of killing. When Eleanor discovers that Johnnie is back in England and is flying one last horribly dangerous mission—a mission she recommended—she rushes to await him. Will he survive? If he dies, can she live with her complicity in developing the mission he flew?

In the fourth book of the award-winning Breaking Point series, John Rhodes weaves the fictional story of fighter pilot Johnnie Shaux and military strategist Eleanor Shaux into the heartbreaking, inspiring historical fabric of World War II.

Review: A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs

Ben is the Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Science Engagement at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Behavior from Anglia Ruskin University, a Master’s of Science in Wild Animal Biology from the Royal Veterinary College, and a PhD, which looked at monkey evolution on tropical islands, entitled ‘Primates of the Caribbean’ with the University College London and the Zoological Society of London. Ben has recently announced So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs…?! is now on sale as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 following his third UK tour earlier this year.

Review: Agent 355

From Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, and co-author of The Personal Librarian, comes a captivating work of historical fiction about a young female spy who may have changed the course of American history.

The tide is turning against the colonists in the Revolutionary War, and 18-year-old Elizabeth Morris cannot sit by idly. Quietly disdainful of her Tory parents, who drag her along to society events and welcome a British soldier into their home during their occupation of New York City, Elizabeth decides to take matters into her own hands. She realizes that, as a young woman, no one around her believes that she can comprehend the profound implications of being a nation at war – she is, effectively, invisible. And she can use this invisibility to her advantage. Her unique access to British society leads her to a role with General George Washington’s own network of spies: the Culper Ring.

Based on true events, Agent 355 combines adventure, romance, and espionage to bring to life this little-known story of a hero who risked her life to fight for freedom against all odds.

Review: The Red Scowl

The Black Death is approaching…but is there something more fearful in the forest outside the village?

Outside an isolated forest community, by the forbidden cursed “Red Scowl”, tracks are discovered that resemble no known animal. Fearful of getting in trouble with the village leader, Mor and Beathan keep this discovery to themselves.

Soon, however, Mor grows more alarmed as news of a great pestilence arrives, and he wonders if these two things are somehow linked. He wants to speak up—just as he wanted to speak up when a woman he loved from afar was burned as a witch—but Mor is a simple man, and the more cunning Beathan keeps him quiet.

Storms, murder, a witch hunt, old secrets, and something monstrous in the mist follow before a stranger comes to the village. Is he is the devil? Does he carry the plague? Is he responsible for all the ills that have befallen them? Most important of all—did he come from within the Red Scowl?

Review: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Tells the story of the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City on March 25, 1911. Written in graphic-novel format.

Review: Lieutenant Dangerous : A Vietnam War Memoir

Jeff Danziger, one of the leading political cartoonists of his generation, captures the fear, sorrow, absurdity, and unintended but inevitable consequences of war with dark humor and penetrating moral clarity.

If there is any discipline at the start of wars it dissipates as the soldiers themselves become aware of the pointlessness of what they are being told to do.

A conversation with a group of today’s military age men and women about America’s involvement in Vietnam inspired Jeff Danziger to write about his own wartime experiences: “War is interesting,” he reveals, “if you can avoid getting killed, and don’t mind loud noises.”

Fans of his cartooning will recognize his mordant humor applied to his own wartime training and combat experiences: “I learned, and I think most veterans learn, that making people or nations do something by bombing or sending in armed troops usually fails.”

Near the end of his telling, Danziger invites his audience—in particular the young friends who inspired him to write this informative and rollicking memoir—to ponder: “What would you do?…Could you summon the bravery—or the internal resistance—to simply refuse to be part of the whole idiotic theater of the war?…Or would you be like me?”

Reviews © Copyright 2022 Korra Baskerville