Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Katyn Order by Douglas W. Jacobson

The Katyn Order is an historical fiction set in WWII.

Natalia is a resistance fighter for the Armia Krajowa (AK), Poland's home army and she has risen up against her Nazi oppressors to take back Warsaw during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.  Germany is losing the war and the Red Army is set to take control of the situation by strategically placing themselves around the city. 

The AK's situation is bleak, their food and water supplies are running low, their weapons are out-of-date, ammunition is scarce, and their bodies are piling up.  With the Red Army stationed at the Vistula River, the AK are torn between that of salvation that they may bring or will they be captured, as once the Russians were adversaries with Germany, and the AK haven't forgotten.    As the Nazi's rampage the city, killing everyone in sight, it's up to the AK to maintain the ground they have taken back from the Germans.

Adam Nowak, aka Wolf, is a Polish born American citizen who was trained by Britain's elite, to become an assassin.  He is the best sharpshooter the AK have and proves it by successfully removing several SS officers in order for the AK to advance ground and gain weapons caches.  When Adam saves Natalia from an invasion, he cannot get her out of his mind.  When the two meet again, they become friends and she is able to bring out his past in order for him to confront his demons.

Someone has slaughtered over 20,000 men of the Polish army and left them in a mass grave.  When it is discovered, the Russians blame the Germans for the atrocity.   After Natalia and Adam find a document stating what actually occurred, they know that they must do everything they are able in order for the truth to prevail.  Will they survive long enough for Poland to remain her own country, stopping the Russians from claiming it as Soviet territory or will the Order remain unsurfaced forever?

I found this book to be well researched and had many interesting historical references.  Reading about the events that occurred was appalling, the details given were quite graphic and one's imagination has no problem recreating the scenes being described.  The heartaches and hardships of the resistance fighters gives a humanistic edge to the stories, as you realize everyone has a back story and you cannot resist wanting to know everyone's, for you don't know if, on the next page, that person was going to survive.

I liked the characters of Natalia, Adam and Rabbit, each of them brought something to the book by becoming real in the readers eyes.  Rabbit was my favourite character, here is a child who, by the fates that surround him, have become a man.  His front is a brave one and when we get to glimpse the side of him that reminds you he is but a child, your heart breaks.  The friendship between the three was very rewarding to read and the aftermath of the war may leave you with a tear or two.

The Katyn Order was a commendable read, filled with historical data that may have your researching on your own account.  I would suggest it to anyone who likes a good historical dramatic fiction.

The German war machine is in retreat as the Russians advance. In Warsaw, Resistance fighters rise up against their Nazi occupiers, but the Germans retaliate, ruthlessly leveling the once-beautiful city. American Adam Nowak has been dropped into Poland by British intelligence as an assassin and Resistance fighter. During the Warsaw Uprising he meets Natalia, a covert operative who has lost everything—just as he has. Amid the Allied power struggle left by Germany’s defeat, Adam and Natalia join in a desperate hunt for the 1940 Soviet order authorizing the murders of 20,000 Polish army officers and civilians. If they can find the Katyn Order before the Russians do, they just might change the fate of Poland.

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by I see it~!! **

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