Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Night of Shooting Stars by Ben Pastor.
About the Author
Ben Pastor, pseudonym of Maria Verbena Volpi, was born in Italy. She lived for thirty years in the United States, working as a university professor in Vermont, before returning to Italy to write historical thrillers. She is one of the most talented writers in the field of historical fiction. In 2008 she won the prestigious Premio Zaragoza for best historical fiction. She writes in English.
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About the book
Berlin, July 1944, a few weeks before the attempted assassination of Hitler by Claus von Stauffenberg and other conspirators. Bora has been called back from the Italian Front to investigate the murder of a dazzling clairvoyant with Nazi connections.
Soon Bora realizes that there is much more at stake than murder in a city where everyone is talking about a conspiracy aimed at the Nazi hierarchy. Bora eventually meets with Stauffenberg. Are the plotters a group of heroes devoted to the salvation of Germany at the cost of their own lives, or a bunch of opportunists compromised from the beginning with the Nazi regime and now looking for a new virginity in the eyes of the Western Allies and Stalinist Russia?
After reading this I went back and read The Horseman’s Song by Ben Pastor again, because this book really reminded me how much I enjoy her writing. I also have to say that although both are set in the Martin Bora series and are deeply enmeshed in stories of wartime turmoil, warfare, politics and atrocities committed in the name of political, religious and ideological beliefs – they are two completely different reads.
The fact that Bora is a soldier at heart, who believes his place should be under fire with his men at the front, even if it means almost certain death, is a trait that tends to drive a lot of the read. Also something that was very evident in the Spanish Civil war (Horseman’s Song) book. This sense of brotherhood, camaraderie and comprehension of the hardship.
In this one the moral dilemma of the regime sets the tone or perhaps the fact that the majority became disassociated from the murder and violence, which is why it becomes almost normal to talk about the horrendous slaughter of innocents.
The failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler by Claus von Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators is usually written from the perspective of the Allies, those who wanted him dead and those brave enough to recognise the destruction he brought upon his country, the world and of course the victims of his eugenics ideology.
Pastor turns that around a little, and to be fair the topic is a source of debate with historians, and presents men with ulterior motives, as opposed to the honourable failed saviours the world perceives them to be.
It’s superbly written historical fiction with a crime embedded in fact.
Buy The Night of Shooting Stars at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Bitter Lemon Press; pub date 20 Aug. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Bitter Lemon Press.