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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

Blackout by Marc Elsberg **Blog Tour**

    I am delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour to celebrate the paperback publication of Marc Elsberg's Best Selling Blackout. Described as a 'global million copy bestseller', it has been published in 15 languages worldwide. 

Blackout- A 21st century high-concept disaster thriller

Tomorrow will be too late

A cold night in Milan, Piero Manzano wants to get home.

Then the traffic lights fail. Manzano is thrown from his Alfa as cars pile up. And not just on this street- every light in the city is dead. 

Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electricity grids collapse.

Plunged into darkness, people are freezing.  Food and water supplies dry up. The death toll soars.

Former hacker and activist Manzano becomes a prime suspect. But he is also the only man capable of finding the real attackers.

Can he bring down a major terrorist network before it's too late? 

My Thoughts

     The life blood of life in the 21st century is electricity. When you start to imagine what would happen if it were to suddenly fail, you begin to glimpse how incapacitating it would be. Marc Elsberg has imagined such an occurrence and taken his train of thought all the way to its logical conclusion: our daily life would become paralysed. So co-dependent  have we become globally, that like a row of dominoes, all we take for granted would begin to unravel. With no electricity, water and food supplies would falter. Computers would cease to work Fuel would be unobtainable. Illness and squalor would follow. Our institutions which are there to enable us to survive would not function and might need to take unimaginable decisions. Hospitals, banks, transport would all be in chaos. Nuclear power stations would be in crisis. The vulnerable - the old and the sick- would be especially at risk. The effect of all this on people's ethics and morals is a fascinating thought as society is put under extreme strain. By coincidence, on the day I started to read this book, I read in the new of a massive but unexplained power blackout in Brussels. It certainly made me think!

    This is a very densely written book, meticulously plotted. We are taken through the events by a series of short, episodic chapters, with the action switching across countries. There are many characters introduced which I must admit I found confusing for some of the time. It is not a book to pick up and put down over a long period of time. Keeping focus on just who is who takes concentration, for me anyway. However, there are interesting back stories for some who are torn between their public role and their private one as their own family members are threatened. 

    Blending together a fast paced thriller with socially relevant themes is no small task. However, all the settings feel plausible and bang up to date. It is not at all hard to picture yourself in such a situation. 

In short:  a thriller which poses questions about human behaviour under stress.

                                                                    About the Author

 Marc Elsberg is a former creative director in advertising.  His debut thriller, Blackout, is a frighteningly plausible drama of a week-long international blackout caused by a hacker attack on power grids.  An instant bestseller in Germany, it has sold over a million copies and has been translated worldwide. Marc Elsberg lives in Vienna, Austria.

Thanks to Thomas Hill and the publishers, Black Swan, for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour.

                                 Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 




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