Today Mandie shares her thoughts on Amalie by E.J. Wood. Thanks to Zoe-Lee O’Farrell and Question Mark Press for inviting us to join the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
THEY MURDERED FAMILIES
THE FUHRER CANNOT PROTECT THEM NOW
It’s not wise to murder the family of a budding assassin. Created by Auschwitz, her skill is honed by revenge.
A very different type of serial killer is loose in 1950s Europe. In Britain, a Brotherhood of powerful men takes notice and enhances the expertise and artistry of a killer.
DCI John Owen was born to serve. Recruited by MI6, he tracks an accomplished executioner whose love of luxury and the arts is second only to the love of watching an early death come to those who truly deserve it.
Join the chase. Then ask yourself…
Can there ever be only one winner?
When I read the blurb for this book, I was automatically intrigued by it. Growing up during the second world war, Amalie found herself separated from her parents and a resident of Auschwitz alongside her brother. They manage to survive but just before they are liberated, they end up separated and she never sees him again. Totally alone she then finds herself in a home for children left without families. It is here that we start to see the extent of how the experience of what Amalie had to endure affected how she reacts and thinks. As a family member is found Amalie goes to live with her uncle in England and before long, she is “employed” by a secret society known as the brotherhood and what they want her to do she seems to take great pleasure in bringing her to the attention of MI6 and DCI John Owen.
This is definitely a book of two halves but to appreciate who Amalie becomes you have to understand what helped form her actions. Her time in Auschwitz left her with no real sense of what was right or wrong as from an early age she was shown that every bad deed ends up being punished and more often than not, that punishment was both brutal and fatal. Just as it looked like she may be given a fresh start, she was actually let down by the one person who could have protected her and possibly helped her to overcome her childhood. In her own warped way, she did have some form of moral compass as all her actions were against people who were guilty of bad things and she also made it her mission to seek out Nazi officers that she held responsible for the death of her family. Although you could not necessarily condone what she was doing, you can see why she acted the way she did. It is this grudging respect that I think is evident in DCI Owen when he is dealing with Amalie.
DCI Owen is very much a loner, not always trusted or liked by his colleagues he tries to understand Amalie. During their occasional meetings I wondered if secretly he didn’t actually want to capture her, he certainly didn’t want to kill her. Amalie herself liked to verbally spar with him as I think on some level she felt that he was the only person that could challenge her and I think they actually both like the chase, the longer it takes the more they get to delve into what makes the other person tick. There is one part of the book that I found the most honest, when DCI Owen was interviewing a fellow resident of the home, he described them as a victim. This was quickly shot down and they said they saw themselves as a survivor as to be a victim that meant that the Nazi’s had won. For me Amalie was both a survivor and a victim. She was a survivor of the horrors of the war but later became a victim of people around her and of her own sense of vengeance. This is at times both a brutal and honest book, whilst it is not fast paced it is a book that will keep your attention right to the end.
About the Author
E.J. Wood is a thriller writer from England.
Although British born, she now resides in Spain, speaks English, and Spanish, and is currently learning German.
She has two English bulldogs, one of which she features in The Forgotten Man. Wood also has three cats, she rides a motorcycle, and is currently writing two more novels.
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