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 is a writer with a wealth of experience and success in the Real World.
After school he worked for, and became, Chief Executive of Avis International, then second biggest car rental company in the World. That was followed by a long stint in investment banking in the City of London. On retirement, he decided to release his creativity by writing books that were fictional, but in a historical setting of a period he loved.
'Polka Dots and Moonbeams' is his third novel, an extraordinary story that flips between the Parisienne fashion houses and the Vietnam War with the French in the 1950s. It was an extraordinary time, at the birth of our modern age, and David catches the mood, ambience, romance and urgency of that period as he did in 'In Youth, in Fear, in War' and in 'Silence in the Desert'. Tragedy and joy go hand in hand.
David works from his home in Malmesbury, England, with his wife Anna who is a practising artist.