“Present day Grayton Beach, a quaint village on the sugary sands of the Florida Gulf Coast, is taken back to the WWII era in this action packed novel. Harvey convincingly weaves together a thrilling tale of espionage and Southern romance, bringing the reader's imagination to life with lucid historical detail.”
— Lindsey Kafonek, Panama City News Herald
“A war story for the men and a love story for the ladies, Grayton Beach Affair combines the action and suspense of war with the passion and romance of a beautiful love story in one compelling novel. Harvey does an exceptional job of painting a vivid picture of the Southeast U.S. in the 1940's. From the sleepy seaside town of Grayton Beach to locales throughout Atlanta, it is easy to visualize the setting for this unexpected story of action and romance during WWII.”
— Tracy Louthain, Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council
"It is refreshing to see a beloved place like Grayton Beach portrayed in a work of fiction. It provides both a historical and cultural context of the area as well as giving the reader a sense of time and place in parallel to one of the most significant World Wars in history.”
— The Thirty-A-Review Magazine
Just when you thought that you knew everything, or had read everything,you could about WWII, along comes something new. For example, I knew that German U-Boats were active off the Jersey Shore but didn’t know that they were very active in the Gulf of Mexico by Florida and Louisiana. I never even thought about a POW camp in the United States until this book came along. Harvey has written a book about cross and double cross, murder, mystery, international intrigue and a shot or two of romance.
The story opens in a Florida of yesteryear when life was a lot simpler. No internet, cell phones or cable TV. What a different world! This world allows the story to proceed without interference. It is a story that could not happen in today’s world. I’m not saying that it’s good or bad, just different and interesting. There are German spies and Prisoners of War. There is a Southern Sheriff who appears not to be bigoted. There are locals who are insulated and caring. There is a black family who is way ahead of the times, as is the main female character!
The story centers on a German American, Christian, who is disillusioned with America and returns to Germany before the start of WWII to help rebuild Germany. He is pressed into service by Germany and fails in his mission; it is that failure that is the story. Harvey tells the story of this man on two continents while telling the story of the French Resistance. This part of the story is well researched and well written,a little simplistic at times, but well done.
The female in the story, Margaret, is ahead of her time at times and then again very much in them. For example, she goes to a deserted area of Florida to get over the death of her fiancée, something that young women of the 40’s might not do. In the end, she winds up in a job, secretary to the president of a company, and engaged to the boss’s son, something that would be expected of women in the 40’s. There is a character, John Logan, in the story that is truly evil. Margaret deals with him as a woman in this decade might do. The Sheriff in the story is given a minor role and the murderer in the story is never really brought to justice. This is the book's only short coming. In retrospect, if the murderer had been brought to justice, it would have been a very different story.
I really enjoyed this book. Harvey has a way of telling a story without making it overly complicated. It is just plain refreshing to read his work.
This review can be found on my blog http://janiesreads.blogspot.com