To Snare a Wolf-Robert Nowak’

To Snare a Wolf

Robert Nowak’

Pinnacle Peak Press, Jun 2010, $14.95

24001 N 112th Way

Scottsdale, AZ 85255

ISBN: 9780984263509

In 1871, fourteen year old Christian Dejoux leaves his hometown of Strasbourg to fight in the Franco-Prussian War for the French who blame Bismarck for the hostilities.  However, his side is overwhelmed by the superior Prussian army.  Having survived an impoverished childhood, he believes strongly there will be another war between his country and the Germans.  Although his countrymen may be lapsed in their vigil, he will not ignore the threat even risking his life spying in Berlin.

At the same time Wolfgang Loewenhardt grows up in affluent aristocratic family in Berlin.  He believes Prussia will rule all of Europe one day.  He plans to insure that happens. 

In Berlin, Christian meets and falls in love with Heidi; she unwittingly abets his stealing secrets from the Ministry of War where she works. Since her father rejects the poor foreign Catholic as a suitor for his daughter, the pair elopes to Switzerland carrying the Prussian secrets.  Wolfgang sends his top agent to retrieve the secrets.

This is a superb historical espionage thriller as spy and counterspy battle one another over several decades starting with The Franco-Prussian War that affirmed their respective beliefs and ending at the Frist battle of the Marne in WWI.  The keys to this excellent drama are the lead adversaries though different on the surface with one being somewhat shy and humble and the other arrogant yet share in common patriot fervor as each is willing to risk their life for their country.  The locations throughout Western Europe bring a sense of being there to the armchair traveler whether it is the Marne, a nightclub in Paris or Berlin or at the front during the Prussian-Franco war.  Robert Nowak provides an exhilarating saga that also gives hope that if the French and Germans can live side by side in peace, other combatants can also.

Harriet Klausner

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