The Alsatians
by Leo Kearley
Stratton Press

"I wanted him to hang. I really did. I wanted that bastard to sit in a cell and wait for his sentence to be carried out."

Wars end on official dates, but the enormity of human suffering such conflicts engender often goes on long after formal hostilities have ceased. In this sprawling saga of World War I, much of Europe has been savaged. In France, thousands of defeated German soldiers are held in prison camps. As they await repatriation to their homeland, most exist in squalor. Racked by a spreading influenza epidemic, near starvation, and abandoned by their captors, they become easy prey for individuals and groups bent on revenge.

Three British soldiers are dispatched to help oversee one such camp. As they do all they can to help, friendship, respect, and even love begin to find purchase among the prisoners, captors, caretakers, and war-weary villagers. This, however, isn’t the only story being told. The author also unspools a tale of a German family intent on salvaging what it can of its lost industrial business and the daring steps it takes to keep the Fatherland from losing everything in unconditional surrender.

Kearly fills his pages with multiple characters affected by the War To End All Wars. Soldiers, the women they love, and their families and friends all intertwine in parallel plot tributaries that eventually flow into each other. He keeps the action front and center as hand-to-hand combat, naval battles, murder attempts, and more play out in ever-increasing escalations of drama and suspense. Melding his fictional exploits with factual people, places, and events, he brings authenticity and believability to these incredibly tumultuous times. If history, romance, and high adventure whet your literary appetite, you’ll likely find your fill in this engaging tale.

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