The Wilts & Glos Standard ran a feature article on me and my novel 'In Youth, in Fear, in War' in their print edition of 9 Feb, and online as follows:
Silence in the Desert is an excellent novel covering the battles in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Africa from 1941 into 1945 through the eyes of three students. Henri de Rochefort is the son of an English woman and a Frenchman, raised in France but being educated in England. Henri's dream is to become a member of the French Foreign Legion as his forefathers before him. Leo Beckendorf is the son of a German and an English woman, also taking some of his education in England but raised in Germany and feeling he is destined to fly for the German Luftwaffe. Bill Lomberg is British but was raised in Africa and his dream, too, is to fly. Adding their viewpoint we have Benedictine monk Dom Brendan Rooker OSB, or Rookie as the boys call him, who is house master at their English school, Saint Gregory's College. And Theresa Kruger, a renamed German Jewess, a trained nurse hiding in plain sight nursing the wounded for the Free French forces.
These earlier battles fought in WWII are not as extensively covered in fact or fiction as are those later battles in Europe. It is good to see them brought to our attention. We see the same names over and over - WWI, WWII, and over the last twenty years. Libya. Greece. Beirut. Egypt. Benghazi. Cairo. The Sinai. Gaza.
This is a story told very well. David Longridge is an author I will add to my list.
I received a free electronic copy of this historical novel from Netgalley, David Longridge, and Matador an imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd. in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
by Bonnye Reed Fry
I really enjoy reading about WW2 and this book deviates from the more common British and French angle with most of the action taking place in Europe and Africa. I really enjoyed the parts involving the people, although it was a bit coincidental how they all kept bumping into each other! However I got a bit lost on the military side of things, which is not the authors fault, just my lack of knowledge! I think the book was well researched, and showed different aspects of WW2 such as how the Catholic church was stuck between a rock and a hard place and how all Germans were not Nazi's. I would suggest that if you like WW2 fiction about the Resistance or life in Britain then this book is not for you, but if you know about the action in Africa, Italy etc then you would find it most interesting. I would read another of this author's books as he has a nice writing style that flowed well and kept me interested (just not the military parts!)
by Emily Sheppard
I enjoyed reading the parts of the novel that related to military history. Silence in the Desert seems to have been quite well researched and covers a number of key WWII campaigns..
The counter-woven plots are fascinating and are well written. However, the main story-line of the interconnecting characters is fairly implausible, with some character vignettes not logical or particularly persuasive.
The book reminded me somewhat of a Jeffrey Archer novel, which will hopefully attract a number of Archer's followers.
by Peter Coxall (via NetGalley)
David Longridge has lived in France and Germany, run a large American company internationally, and worked in the City. His interest in people who played critical roles in time of war led him to write his first novel: 'In Youth, in Fear, in War'. In this book, he depicts in fiction the remarkable way certain women contributed to that struggle.
David's second novel 'Silence in the Desert' focuses on events often overlooked in the popular history of the war, with an underlying theme of signals intelligence. New characters join some of those from the first book, both as allies and on opposing sides. Together, they face the war-induced suspension of the morality of their upbringing as new allegiances conflict with friendships of the past. David writes from his home in Wiltshire, England, working with his wife Anna who is a practising artist.