The Swede
by R. W. Nichelson
Author Reputation Press LLC

"Hans read about the invasion in the paper. He became excited with the prospect of finally destroying the communist regime once and for all."

Two young Swedish men who fought against the Russians in 1939 now have the chance to defeat that enemy at the beginning of WWII. They can do this, they believe, by joining the German Waffen-SS. Hans Gruber and Sven Eriksson leave their homes to fight in Germany, soon finding themselves in the thick of battle. Hans is approached secretly by a young Russian soldier seeking asylum from the Communists, their common foe. Hans will save him and other presumed enemies, revealing his generous, open heart. He observes a train full of helpless families bound for death camps and watches in horror as SS men shoot Jewish men, women, and children and pitch them in mass graves. Word that both of the newly married young Swedes have become fathers offers them the impetus to make a daring move as Russia and the Western allies close in on Nazi Germany.

Nichelson’s enthralling story contrasts the joys of young romance with the chaos of merciless, bloody combat. His book is based on real events and charts the historical course of the war between Hitler and the Russians as seen through the eyes of Hans, a participant by choice whose original decision comes to haunt him as he gradually understands the true agenda of the Nazis. Nichelson’s writing is straightforward, demonstrating a knowledge of weaponry, some charming folklore surrounding Swedish courtship in bygone days, and a solid grasp of the historical events on which his tale centers. His characterizations are also strong. Hans is shown as a kind, sensitive young man caught in a moral morass, while his rather rakish friend Sven is brash, brave, and skilled in the soldier’s arts. Nichelson’s book will be of special interest to Swedes and those of Scandinavian origin, as well as all fans of colorful, battle-laden historical fiction.

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