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Francis Cottam was born in Southport, Merseyside, in 1957. A full-time journalist, he has lived and worked in London for the past twenty years. He is the author of thee previous novels: THE FIRE FIGHTER, HAMER'S WAR and SLAPTON SANDS.
This tortured soul, Julia, Polish escapee from a Nazi labour camp, pregnant and friendless carries with her an introduction to her lover’s great friend in Los Angeles, a Hollywood lawyer. So her new life in her adopted country is guaranteed. The big-shot lawyer becomes surrogate father to the child, Natasha, and life is good as we are fast-tracked through the 50s and into J F Kennedy’s inauguration. But the horrors of the war catch up with Julia and the innocent Natasha and the events of the author’s impressive first novel, Hamer’s War, overshadow this engrossing tale. Although the book is complete in itself, its appreciation will be enhanced if you read Hamer’s War too. I loved both and highly recommend them.Comparison: Douglas Kennedy, Robert Ryan, Andrew Greig.Similar this month: None.
Autumn 1940. London is being firebombed, unable to strike back as the Luftwaffe drones overhead. Jack Finlay, a young man notorious for his ability to fight fires, is given the task of preventing five buildings vital to Britain's war effort from being engulfed by the flames.But resources are scarce and the mood is bleak, and Finlay himself suspicious about the real motive for his mission. And then he falls in love with a woman as unorthodox as he is: a wartime liaison as improbable as it is intense, dangerous because it makes him as vulnerable as the flames and plots twist around him.
They were just like the beaches at Normandy, Slapton Sand. That's why they trained them there - an army of invasion secluded in sleepy south Devon. But fifteen hundred soldiers perished at Slapton Sands, and no one seems to want to know why.Thirty-two years later, in the long hot summer of '76, Alice Bourne, an American Student, arrives determined to discover the true story of their tragic sacrifice.But her presence is unwelcome. Disturbing incidents occur. Alice believes she's being haunted, targeted by a malevolent individual with his own dark reasons for preventing her from finding out what really happened.A poignant love story and a chilling tale of suspense, Francis Cottam's mesmerizing novel peels back the layers of both past and present to examine the harrowing detail of a tragic wartime mystery.
First published in 2006, this is the story of Polish war exile Julia Smollen who has escaped the horrors of Nazi labour camp to forge a new life in California with her daughter, Natasha.It's an exciting time to be in America. With Sinatra and the ratpack dominating a golden Hollywood and the young Jack Kennedy emerging on the political scene, it's a time of optimism and opportunity. Under the protection of her former lover's great friend, Bill, Julia and her daughter thrive.Yet Natasha remains unaware of her true identity. She knows nothing of her father, the courageous German officer Martin Hamer, fatally wounded helping the then-pregnant Julia flee her occupied homeland.Julia cannot keep the truth hidden from her daughter forever. A sinister figure from the past has tracked them down, with his own dark, vengeful agenda...
Every year, three million single women in America move into an apartment for the first time. Few of them change the locks. Juliet Devereau can't believe her luck: after weeks of looking for a place to live, she's found a beautiful, spacious apartment overlooking Brooklyn Bridge. It almost seems to good to be true. It is... Over the weeks, a chilling sense of being watched stalks Juliet. Strange sounds wake her in the night, the mirror in the bathroom trembles, and doors she thought shut are open. Then the silhouette of a man standing in her living room makes her realise that she's not alone in there. But what's haunting her is far more terrifying than a malevolent spirit; it's alive, strong and obsessed. Suddenly Juliet is caught up in a deadly game of cat and mouse, and there's no guarantee that she'll come out alive...
Having been wounded on the Russian Front, Martin Hamer, a heroic and principled German officer, is seconded to a labour camp in occupied Poland. Gradually, Hamer finds himself drawn to one of the inmates, Julia Smollen. As the burgeoning relationship between the German officer and the Polish prisoner causes mounting tension in the camp, Hamer's troubled past is gradually revealed in a series of flashbacks. But, as he's about to discover, much of his life has been based on a tragic lie. And just as Hamer is forced to reassess and reevaluate his past, he is faced with a heartbreaking choice - and a chance of redemption. A chance which would mean forsaking his rank, reputation and homeland. Is he brave enough to take it?