‘This is only a start,’ he said to Hilder. ‘I think that the English will invade sooner or later. Even though that may not be for some time the Germans will, in the end, be thrown out and I expect that there will be more raids to come.’
It’s 1941 and Erik Kingsnorth, a half-Norwegian Commando captain, lands in German occupied Norway as a radio-communications agent. He is acutely aware of the need at all costs to avoid his Norwegian relations but is spotted on a fishing boat by his cousin Bjorn. But Bjorn turns out to be a collaborator and Erik is ordered by the Resistance to shoot him. Armed with a pistol he confronts his cousin on a lonely path at dusk but cannot bring himself to pull the trigger. Later, working alongside the Resistance Erik discovers what is being constructed on a wild uninhabited coastline – a top secret U-boat staging post where he narrowly escapes capture in a fusillade of rifle fire.
With the help of the Resistance leader’s beautiful daughter he stumbles across a huge cache of gold ingots in a sea cave which bear Soviet hallmarks – could they really be from HMS Edinburgh previously torpedoed in the Barents Sea? Erik is soon drawn in to a world of danger, intrigue and to desperate flight from pursuing Nazis. He flies out in a commandeered float plane but crash lands into the Great Tana River near the Russian border and is arrested by the Soviets who believe him to be a collaborator. Finally, in a gulag in Arctic Russia he is overtaken by monstrous events too awful even to contemplate.
Inspired by books such as Two Eggs on my Plate by Oluf Reed-Olsen and We Die Alone by David Howarth, The Ring and the Swastika will appeal to fans of historical novels, especially those with a particular interest in wartime Norway.