James W. Nichol is the author of Midnight Cab, which was short-listed for the UK's prestigious Gold Dagger Award and which won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. He lives in Stratford, Ontario.
Transgressionby James W. Nichol
A tale of love and war, Transgression by James W. Nichol is part romance, part mystery, and part riveting historical novel set during World War Two in Europe and in North America in the years directly following the terrible conflict. Nichol—winner of the Arthur Ellis Award and shortlisted for the UK’s Gold Dagger Award for his debut novel Midnight Cab—tells the haunting story of a young French woman undone by love during the Nazi occupation of her country and branded a “horizontal collaborator” after its liberation. Beautifully written and unforgettable, Transgression is a novel about secrets and survival and the high price that must be paid for passion.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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The story of love and war and all the complications with the characters coming from two different worlds. i liked the writing style and the structure of the novel as well.
The book is not only plausable in its World War two setting, but very easily could be a biography of the unfortunate souls innocently caught up in that time and place. The characters and their inter action would indicate an author steeped in the history of people in France, Germany, and Western Europe during World War Two. What happened during and after with the losses,unwitting mistakes and fear, of the protagonists and the resulting hate and prejudice with no tolerance for individual circumstance is frightening. This is a compelling book written with simple tension that never lets up. There is a side by side story in Canada alternating from the aforementioned that melts together for an unsusoecting and thrilling ending that captures the heart. There are books with prestigious reviews from renowned authors that cannot hold a candle to this book!
In 1941 Vichy France, Adele Georges seeks her beloved missing father who encouraged her imagination. The last place she knows of news of her pere who served in the medical corps was in Arras; so she goes to the Wehrmacht run Domestic Population of Information Bureau in nearby Rouen seeking help. German clerk Manfred Halder tries to assist her. For the next three years Adele and Manfred hide their love affair from her family who would gladly slit his throat and the Gestapo who would gladly slit his throat. The Allied invasion starting with D-Day brings fresh hope to occupied France except for Adele. Her family, neighbors and former friends loathe her as a "horizontal collaborator" while her beloved has been shipped to the Eastern front for being a co horizontal collaborator. After the hostilities end, Adele searches for her Manfred amidst the ruins of Europe, which leads to Paris, Ontario. There a severed human finger and its rotted corpse are uncovered leading to police chief Jack Cullen investigating a murder case that takes him to Adele married to Canadian veteran Alex Wells. This exciting historical thriller contains two terrific subplots (in Europe during WWII and in Canada just after the war) that merge through Adele. The story line is haunting as issues of what is a transgression arise. Although the climax feels shortened and abrupt, readers will highly regard this look back at the 1940s through the "dreamy" eyes of a French exile. Harriet Klausner