ABOUT THE BOOK
The Gathering Storm: Book 1 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy, a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.
* INTRODUCTORY PRICE *Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic regatta in 1936.
The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.
As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in 1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is only one problem.
The Nussbaums are Jews.
The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of Germany’s Jews.
When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.
As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire continent into war.’
This is a massive book, about three times the length of a good-sized book, but what an incredible story it is! I felt bereft when I read the last page. So do not be put off by the size of it. Embrace it, live it and feel every raw emotion in it. I have read quite a few books around the war years, and this has to rank at the top of them all.
I joined the Kästners, a highly respected German naval officers family and their devoted Jewish servants, the Nussbaums, in 1933. The two families had a very close bond, with the Nussbaums often invited to join the family and their guests after serving them, where they were, treated like family themselves. The children of the families grew up side by side and were best of friends. Unrest was rumbling, and rumours were increasing about the new Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his radical thinking.
General Kästner was a well-respected man with everyone, the men who had served under him, his fellow officers and the local community. He is one of the good guys, a hero. The loyalty of not just the Nussbaum’s but both families to each other is remarkable. The futures of both these families unravel to the early years of WW11 to 1940.
The small things are at first just put down to rumours but, they build over the coming years. I liked that the author also wrote from the children’s point of view, especially the schooling. As more chapters fell behind me, the atrocities increased, and it does not make easy reading. I felt a great sadness for so many of the soldiers, for what they had become.
Where the story has taken me to is perfect. It left me with my heart in the mouth and baited breathe and so very eager to return to both of these incredible families.
Alan Jones, the author, is not just a writer, he has breathed life into every character, with nothing held back. The thing that makes this such a winning book for me, is that it is a story of bonds between people that see each other for the good they are and nothing more, A very highly recommended read, The best this year!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.
He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren.
He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.
His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.
He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.
He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.