Island of Ghosts
Thornton Cox, 2007 - 243 pages
Two teenage boys, hijacked from Eastern Eutrope by the Nazis in 1942 to work on Hitler's Atlantic Wall, resolve to escape before they die. All the odds are agains them. They are slaves on an island fortress. Previous escapers have been sot. But on one of the island's frequent foggy days they make a break for it. At first they are in luck. A shipwreck diverts the authorities' attention. But did they get off the island? Sixty years later one boy, a Pole, returns as an old man to what is nowe a holiday island to find out, having suffered total memory loss.Obviously he escaped, but he fears his Russian friend was killed. He must find out the truth before he dies. On the boat across he meets an artist, Anna, visiting her estranged husband for a possible reconciliation. Gradually he draws her scarily into re-discovering his violent wartime experiences. At the same time Anna learsn more about that fateful day from the diary of the German Commandant's mistress: a woman whose predicament, of being trapped in an empty relationship, is very like Anna's own today. Then, when Anna goes out sketching on foggy days, she realises she is actually drawing scenes from 1943. Inexorably she ends up witnessing the final moments of the boys' machine gunning by guards, powerless to intervene. 'Island of Ghosts' is a strongly told story of what might have happened on the Nazis' own 'Devil's Island', against an authentic backdrop, written by an accomplished thriller writer.
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