Anne Barwell and I have known each other since Noah was a boy, so it’s always a pleasure to host her, especially as she always writes an interesting blog post. Today’s is no exception:
Thanks for hosting me today as part of my re-release of Comes a Horseman, the 3rd and final book in my WWII Echoes Rising series.
I prefer to read and write flawed characters, rather than protagonists who are always right, and antagonists who are two-dimensional virtual moustache whirlers. They’re more interesting, and I like a bit of emotional angst in my stories.
Good people make mistakes, and especially during war, find themselves in a position where they need to follow a course of action they wouldn’t usually. In Echoes Rising the team have so far been focused on getting Kristopher and the information he carries to the Allies. But now, they’re having doubts about this being the best course of action, and whether their mission should succeed. Add in the complication of friendship, found family, and the romantic attachments that have grown between two couples in their team. What sacrifices will someone make in order to ensure the person they love survives? A person who in usual circumstances wouldn’t kill anyone reacts differently when someone they love is threatened.
Or do they? War is harsh, and survival comes with a cost.
On the flip side, Standartenführer Holm is very sure that he is doing the right thing in hunting the men who have eluded him for months. In his mind, he is the hero of this story, and he justifies all of his actions with that narrative firmly in place. Kristopher is a traitor to his country, and the men with him the enemy, so should be dealt with accordingly. And then there’s the issue of one of those men being the son of the man who killed Holm’s father…
His second in command, Reiniger, is a little less complicated. Although he too, believes in what he is doing, he enjoys his job perhaps a bit too much. In Shadowboxing, Kristopher and Michel made a fool of him, and in Winter Duet, the team cost him an eye. He’s out for revenge and determined to achieve it.
Rounding out this group of people is Margarete Huber. She’s an interesting character to write, and very layered. Her motivations are very much her own, and even Holm prefers to have nothing to do with her. She’s a woman who spins her own webs in order to trap her prey, and likes to be in control. She didn’t expect Kristopher to defect, and it annoys her that she didn’t see it coming. Holm might be a strategist but she takes planning and manipulation to a whole new level.
With Comes a Horseman being the final book in the series these characters—from both sides—will finally meet again face to face with one final encounter. Who do you think will win and at what cost?
What if those who stand by you are the ones who betray you?
Sometimes the most desperate struggles take place far from the battlefield, and what happens in secret can change the course of history.
Victory is close at hand, but freedom remains frustratingly just beyond the grasp of German physicist Dr Kristopher Lehrer, Resistance fighter Michel, and the remaining members of the team sent by the Allies—Captain Matt Bryant, Sergeant Ken Lowe, and Dr Zhou Liang—as they fight to keep the atomic plans from the Nazis. The team reaches France and connects with members of Michel’s French Resistance cell in Normandy. Allied troops are poised to liberate France, and rescue is supposedly at hand. However, Kristopher is no longer sure the information he carries in his memory is safe with either side.
When Standartenführer Holm and his men finally catch up with their prey, the team is left with few options. With a traitor in their midst, who can they trust? Kristopher must become something he is not in order to save the man he loves. Death is biding his time, and sacrifices must be made for any of them to have the futures they want.
Author’s note: This is the second edition of Comes a Horseman. The first edition was released by another publishing house. This story has been re-edited, and uses UK spelling to reflect its setting.