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Lying With the Enemy Paperback – 1998


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Paperback, 1998
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Poetically written murder mystery midst war mahem 8 April 2000
By Jodie S. Holmberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
What a pleasure. A mystery that's beautifully written. The writer's love of words, phrases, construction of plot and sensual headiness of book-making is contagious and warranted. I, too, was perplexed by the many omissions of words, grammatical eye-stoppers and at times archaicisms. I was glad to see your first reviewer picked up on it, too. If only there were more hours in the day, it would be intriguing to find the cause of such puzzlingness.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Identifying With The Aggressor 25 Jan. 2000
By Bucherwurm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is 1943 and the German army maintains its relatively peaceful occupation of the British island of Guernsey. How do citizens react to such life when their only real hardship seems to be a lack of certain foods? Surprisingly many women become collaborators, and indeed do "lie" with the enemy. The most evident male vice during these times seems to be greed, as they industriously establish a black market industry, and again collaborate with the enemy as they do so. No one much seems interested in emulating the nearby French Resistance. A prime example of Guernsey sabotage is when one local mows the grass landing strip extra short so that plane wheels won't get quite so good a purchase on the ground.
The book involves a murder, which flows through the book more as an undercurrent than as the prime plot. Much of this tale involves getting to know the characters, German as well as British. I quite enjoyed this story of what life might have been like in a backwater setting during this global catastrophe. That is not to say that I wasn't also a bit disappointed. We get to know a few of the women who become intimately involved with German officers, but we never are led to an understanding of what motivates them. One gets the feeling that they simply lacked much choice among the Guernsey men, but the population of the island isn't that small. Getting to know people isn't necessarily the same as understanding what makes them tick.
Thriller lovers beware; this book bears no resemblance to a Jack Higgins escapade. It's a well-written book that moves along at a leisurely pace.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
War makes for strange bedfellows. 14 Jun. 2001
By Denise Bentley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
World War II is raging on all fronts in Europe. The Nazis have set up camp on the tranquil Island of Guernsey off the coast of England. The island people have succumbed to the enemy, and exist to the best of their ability during a time of food rationing, shortages, and at times occupation of their homes. Adaptation is a necessity and the black market is in full gear.
Our story revolves around a gruesome murder. The possibilities are endless as the author introduces you to the many characters on the stage he sets. There is much fraternization with the Nazis and many people on the island hold grudges. The story turns into a tangled web of espionage and intrigue that culminates in a satisfying finish.
I would rate this book a 3.5 if I had that option. In the reading of it I found some chapters to be fragmented and disjointed making for a loss of that smooth transition I enjoy when an author writes from the perspective of many different characters. Kelsana 6/14/01
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Historical fiction at its best 23 Oct. 2000
By "kriksubnav" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I picked up the British edition which is called "Island Madness" and thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The Nazis are presented as fully developed characters, not just the "bad guys" because bad guys exist on both sides in this book. Now go read "The Book of Ebenezer LePage" by G. B. Edwards, the memoirs of an old Guernsey man recounting over 80 yrs of Guernsey life in a circular and fascinating way.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Surviving under occupation 5 Oct. 2005
By Fred Camfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel is an interesting story set on the Island of Guernsey circa early 1943. When the British evacuated from the island in 1940, many residents stayed behind. They are now in dire straits. The German occupiers limit their food rations to the point that residents are driven to desperate measures to survive. There is a thriving black market. Attractive women, and even some not so attractive, augment their food rations by consorting with German soldiers, particularly officers who can supply their needs.

There is a split in the German command. Major Lentsch is an administrative officer, but has no control over the construction operations fortifying the island, and no control over the head of the German police. Ned Luscombe, a British police officer trapped on the island when he stayed behind during the evacuation, has been made the local police inspector after mass arrests of members of the police force. When Lentsch's woman friend Isobel is murdered, and her body dumped in a German fortification off limits to the Guernsey civilians, Ned is given the job of investigating the case (Isobel had at one time been a love interest of Ned).

There is a large cast of characters hard to keep track of - native islanders, Germans, and forced laborers brought in by the Germans to build the fortifications. Everyone has his or her own agenda. The story is interrupted by a large number of flashbacks to explain past events and relationships. It is a slow read, and it is sometimes difficult to maintain an understanding of a plot element.

The Germans are losing the war, having suffered big defeats at Stalingrad and in North Africa. Some, like Lentsch, see the handwritten on the wall. Others remain rabid Nazi's loyal to Hitler. In the meantime, the murder case in turning over stones exposing other crimes. There is a somewhat surprising ending.
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