The Constant Soldier by William Ryan

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*Many thanks to the publishers for sending me a copy for review*

About the book:

1944. Paul Brandt, a soldier in the German army, returns wounded and ashamed from the bloody chaos of the Eastern front to find his village home much changed and existing in the dark shadow of an SS rest hut – a luxurious retreat for those who manage the concentration camps, run with the help of a small group of female prisoners who – against all odds – have so far survived the war.

When, by chance, Brandt glimpses one of these prisoners, he realizes that he must find a way to access the hut. For inside is the woman to whom his fate has been tied since their arrest five years before, and now he must do all he can to protect her.

But as the Russian offensive moves ever closer, the days of this rest hut and its SS inhabitants are numbered. And while hope – for Brandt and the female prisoners – grows tantalizingly close, the danger too is now greater than ever.

And, in a forest to the east, a young female Soviet tank driver awaits her orders to advance…

You can purchase a copy by clicking the link below:

The Constant Soldier by William Ryan

About the author:

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William Ryan is an Irish writer living in London. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of St Andrews and worked as a lawyer before taking up writing full-time. His first novel, THE HOLY THIEF, was shortlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, The CWA John Creasy New Blood Dagger and a Barry Award. His second novel, THE BLOODY MEADOW, was shortlisted for the Ireland AM Irish Crime Novel of the Year, as was his next – THE TWELFTH DEPARTMENT. THE TWELFTH DEPARTMENT was also shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger and named one of The Guardian’s crime novels of the year. William lives in London with his wife and son.

My thoughts:

The Constant Soldier is not my usual genre, but I am SO GLAD that I got to read this novel. It is so compelling, and gripping and more emotive than I was expecting. Definitely one that will stay with me for quite some time.

William Ryan has done an excellent job with The Constant Soldier. His characters are so well written and they draw you into the perfectly plotted narrative wholly and completely. I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but it is still weighing on my mind.

Paul Brandt is an excellent character. Inherently good, but in bad situations, it’s hard not to feel for him as he returns home from the war battered and broken. What follows is a heartbreaking and often gruesome tale, but so haunting that it will leave you bereft when you close the last page.

I cannot do a book like this justice in a review, it’s impossible for me. There are no words for how The Constant Soldier made me feel, all I know is I couldn’t see for tears when I came to the end. It was an emotionally-charged read for me.

I can’t recommend The Constant Soldier highly enough. Just read it. It’s simply brilliant!

I also had the pleasure of meeting the author last week at his launch in O’Mahony’s Booksellers in Limerick and I got my copy signed.

 

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