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on 16 February 2011
A quick but brilliant and compassionate read about the horrors of the Second World War and the strength of the people who fought back.

I couldn't put this book down. It's so very different from what I usually read, but it hooked me right from the start. It paints a very detailed picture of the era, and the entire time whilst reading, I couldn't help but think of the mini-series BBC has made about the war. I would love to see this book on screen.

Madeleine is such a strong character, L'ange de la mort. You don't want to be a bad guy with her in the vicinity. I loved following the two German military policemen Stenger and Willi too, it was very interesting to see the same story from another angle.
I did think the picture painted of the stereotypical French woman was a bit over the top though and there wasn't much middle-ground between über-evil Nazi and patriotic good person/hero.

The story is fairly gruesome and obviously contains a lot of death, but it's not overly graphic. There were parts that had me shuddering and even one where I was close to tears, but I never felt like stop reading.

All in all, it's a really good book that tells a very gripping story. It preserves history and describes a part of it that I hadn't heard before despite a big interest in the subject, and I would recommend anyone to read it and learn.
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on 11 March 2011
I love historical fiction and it is the one genre I go back now every time. This was a brilliant historical novel. Petrek has done an amazing amount of research and I felt like I was right there seeing the plot of this novel unfold in front of my eyes.

The novel is extremely fast paced but I found that I was still able to keep up with the plot of the novel. The characters are extremely well thought out and help to bring the novel to a new level.

The only negative thing I would have to say is that it jumps from one thing to another a bit to quickly for my liking. I don't feel like the novel sees one point through until the end before moving on to a completely different point.

Overall this was a good novel and I recommend to historical fiction fans.

A copy of this book was received for free for review, all opinions expressed are my own through reading this book.
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on 23 January 2015
Cold Lonely Courage gives a fascinating insight into the life of a World War 2 assassin working against Nazi officers during France’s occupation. The subject material is fascinating and has a wonderful mixture of characters that are made-up and real life historical figures of prominence. This allows the book to be both fantastical and believable at the same time.

The missions that the protagonist, Madeleine, undergoes are dangerous, thrilling and sometimes quite disturbing. Due to this, I find her, though interesting to follow, a little dislikeable. Her attitude and actions are explained by the horrific things that happened to her in her past, but her callous disregard for human life is sometimes difficult to read.

One particular strength of the book is the background detail. I learned a great deal about World War 2 through this book – especially details concerning Rommel and other Nazi officers and the Oradour-Sur-Glane massacre. Ending the book saw me delving into the depths of Wikipedia to research more information – which is always a sign that a book had intrigued me!

A great novel – I look forward to reading more of this author’s work.
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on 7 April 2013
As I got this book on a free download, I certainly can't claim that it was a waste of money. However, half way through reading it, I did wonder whether it might be a waste of my time. I struggled on to the end, but I'm afraid I don't think it is a particularly well written story. The main characters followed simple national stereotypes - bad Germans who are ruthless but efficient, good Germans who never wanted the war in the first place, and the French who yearn for peace and love good food. The French heroine, who is brave and beautiful, falls in love with an English soldier who is brave and handsome. I don't wish to be unkind, but I found the whole story rather amateurish.
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on 2 November 2012
Cold Lonely Courage
For me this beautifully written debut novel really has the wow factor.
I love reading about this period anyhow and I still think its important to remember those whose who put up resistance to the nazi invasion of europe and the men and women who sacrificed so much, I love the way the author weaves a very personal story into the horrors of war and particularly this one woman fighting for a free France.
The author shows a clear understanding of the period and I hope to read more of his work.
Highly Recommended.
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on 15 August 2012
This is a beautifully written story of one womans courage against those who killed her twin brother. Not graphically violent, no foul language, just a simple tale of love of family and country. The `Angel of Death' as she became known is the angel of her peers at the time of greatest stress and fear.My only cririsism is that the story ended a little abruptly, I would have liked to see a little further into her life after the war.
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on 17 August 2012
A Good story line absolutely ruined by the Mills and Boon descriptions of Madeleine and Jack's passion for each other. Put me off a bit. If I'd wanted a titillating romance I would have chosen Lady Chatterley's lover or some such.
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on 19 October 2014
written in an engaging style. I look forward to getting to understand more about this recent history through sharing more of her exploits.
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on 27 March 2013
an excellently told and very credible story very well written, it is interesting and exciting.....the author is to be congratulated
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on 29 December 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and will certainly be reading more of this Authors work. Excellent.
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