Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blog Tour: Night of Flames by Douglas W. Jacobson

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: McBooks Press; illustrated edition edition (October 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590131665
ISBN-13: 978-1590131664

In his debut novel set against the backdrop of World War II, Douglas W. Jacobson weaves a complex story of a young Polish couple, Jan and Anna Kopernik, seeking to be re-united amidst the ravages of war torn Europe. The story takes place in Poland and Belgium alternately following Jan and Anna as they try to cope with their separation in horrific war conditions.

When the Germans begin their relentless invasion into Poland in 1939, Anna has just come from Krakow to Warsaw to attend the funeral of her friend Irene's mother. Anna, Irene and Irene's son Justyn attempt to make their way from the ravaged city of Warsaw back to Krakow. A friend of a friend can manage to get them to Italy on a diplomatic visa but when Irene becomes ill, all plans and lives for that matter are dramatically changed.

Jan, an officer in the Polish Cavalry, and his division face some devasting battles. Although Jan manages to escape with non life- threatening injuries, he does not return to his cavalry position. With his ability to speak fluent German, Jan finds himself doing intelligence work for the British.When he is offered the chance to get back to Poland, he is determined not only to do his duty but to find Anna.Unfortunately this proves to be much more difficult than he thought it would be.

After much hardship, travail and heartbreaking losses, Anna ends up in Belgium and becomes involved with a resistance movement called the White Brigade. At one point she is captured by a Nazi officer, Dieter Koenig; a most vile, disgusting and thoroughly evil man. Even though he saves her from being sent to a concentration camp, he is determined to keep her for his own purposes. Jacobson paints such a chillingly vivid picture of this character, I could feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up and I was almost holding my breath to see how this would all pan out.

I truly enjoyed Anna's character as I felt she was a strong, intelligent and brave woman with a very caring nature. At risk to herself, she did not hesitate to help her Jewish friends Irene and Justyn. The character of Jan was not as thoroughly developed as Anna's but I still got the feeling that he was an extremely patriotic and conscientious man who would do whatever was necessary to find his beloved Anna. Would Jan and Anna find each other again in all the chaos? More importantly, would they even survive the war?

Jacobson has obviously done a tremendous amout of research for his plot driven novel and managed to seamlessly mingle fact and fiction into a wonderfully vivid story. The pages just came alive for me with all the historical detail and a myriad of characters. All the accounts of efforts made by the resistance enhanced the storyline. Jacobson has paid homage to these brave individuals who risked much and sometimes all to overcome the oppressors in their homeland. A compellingly told story of loyalty, betrayals and heroism of ordinary citizens in a time when the world seemed to have gone mad. Excellent read. I just loved it! Highly recommended. 4.5****

A big thank you to Dorothy from Pump Up Your Book Tours for allowing me to participate in the tour and to McBooks Press for a review copy.


  1. When a book can make the hair on your neck stand up that is saying something. This truly sounds like a well-written novel that I must read. Thanks for an awesome review!!

  2. Boy, does that sound gripping! I could read this one for the WWII challenge!

  3. Hello.. great review. It really sounds like a good Book. Thank you!

  4. Hi Kaye. What a wonderful and in-depth review. You always do such a great review and your page is so much fun to visit!

    Happy Reading, Kaye!

    Hugs :D

  5. I got chills even no (could be the window but let's say it's the book).
    Great review

  6. Kaye,
    Thank you for the nice review. I'm pleased you enjoyed the book. Your readers may be interested to know more about the actual story of the escape organization Anna became invoved with. the Comet Line was a real life organization founded by a 24 year old nurse in Belgium. Since the book was publishe I have been privlidged to meet several ladies who are surviving agents of the Comet Line. Your readers can find out more about their story at
    Doug jacobson

  7. Oooh, this sounds very good, very disturbing, very dramatic! I'll have to add this one to the pile. Excellent review, as always!

    LOVE your Halloween image too!! By the second line I was singing along even before I realized it was a song. Thanks again for my bookworm too. Great find, and it fits, finally! :)

  8. Great review, sounds like a gripping read, Kaye!

  9. I'm looking forward to finishing this book. I really love the WWII books I've found for this years WII reading challenge. I'm glad you enjoyed this book.

  10. I'm glad you really enjoyed this one, too. I'll get your review on the challenge blog as soon as I can. I'm playing catch up right now. :)

    Diary of an Eccentric

  11. We've linked to your review at the War blog here:


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