The Katyn Order: A Novel

The Katyn Order: A Novel

by Douglas W. Jacobson

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Overview

The Katyn Order: A Novel by Douglas W. Jacobson

The German war machine is in retreat as the Russians advance. In Warsaw, Resistance fighters rise up against their Nazi occupiers, but the Germans retaliate, ruthlessly leveling the once-beautiful city. American Adam Nowak has been dropped into Poland by British intelligence as an assassin and Resistance fighter. During the Warsaw Uprising he meets Natalia, a covert operative who has lost everything—just as he has. Amid the Allied power struggle left by Germany’s defeat, Adam and Natalia join in a desperate hunt for the 1940 Soviet order authorizing the murders of 20,000 Polish army officers and civilians. If they can find the Katyn Order before the Russians do, they just might change the fate of Poland.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590135983
Publisher: McBooks Press
Publication date: 05/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Douglas W. Jacobson is an engineer, a business owner, and a World War II history enthusiast. He is the author of Night of Flames, which won the 2007 Outstanding Achievement award from the Wisconsin Library Association. He lives in Elm Grove, Wisconsin.

Read an Excerpt

The Katyn Order

A Novel


By Douglas W. Jacobson

McBooks Press, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Douglas W. Jacobson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-59013-598-3


CHAPTER 1

5 August 1944


The assassin stood in the shadows of an alcove and watched the activity on the other side of the street. The lamps along Stawki Street, just west of Warsaw's City Center, had been shot out during the first days of the Rising, but the night sky was illuminated with brilliant, yellowish-white flashes. German artillery units were pounding the Wola District two kilometers to the west, and an acrid, smoky haze hung in the air. The ground trembled beneath his feet with each jarring concussion.

But he waited.

And watched.

A few minutes earlier, two canvas-covered trucks had pulled up in front of the deserted three-story warehouse, and several prisoners wearing black-and-white concentration camp uniforms had jumped out and begun unloading wooden crates. Two German SS troopers with automatic rifles watched over them, glancing at the western sky whenever a particularly loud burst of artillery echoed through the streets, shattering the last unbroken windows. The SS troopers appeared nervous, though this neighborhood was still under German control.

The assassin checked his watch. It was almost time. He brushed the dust and specks of ash off the front of the uniform he'd taken from the dead Waffen-SS trooper the night before. He had made sure it was a clean shot to the head so as not to soil the jacket with blood. He wanted to look his best for SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Karl Brandt.

At exactly 2200 hours, a flash of headlights swept through the gloom as a long, black auto wheeled around the corner and screeched to a stop behind the trucks. The driver jumped out and opened the rear door of the powerful German-built Horch. The assassin watched as SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Brandt squeezed out of the backseat like an over-ripe melon and tugged on the bottom of his uniform tunic in a futile effort to cover his sagging beltline. The obese officer barked a command to the SS troopers and plodded toward the warehouse.

The assassin stepped out of the alcove and marched across the boulevard, his right hand resting lightly on the holster strapped to his waist. As he approached the automobile, he shouted loudly enough to be heard over the bursts of shelling, "Guten Abend, Sturmbannführer!" With his right forefinger, he flipped open the strap of the holster.

SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Brandt stopped and turned toward the street, a bewildered look in his eyes. "Ja, was ist —"

The assassin drew the Walther P-38 from the holster and in one smooth motion fired a single shot into Brandt's forehead, then a second into the chest of the driver. He stepped over Brandt's body and fired two quick shots at the SS troopers, who stood staring at him in frozen astonishment. One of them went down instantly. The other required another round.

The striped-uniformed prisoners dropped the crates and stood ramrod stiff, arms in the air, their faces white with fear. An instant later, a group of men wearing red-and-white armbands bolted from the shadows of a building across the street. Brandishing an assortment of weapons, they charged past the stunned prisoners and barged into the warehouse.

From inside, shouts in Polish and German —

Gunshots —

Then it was quiet.

The assassin calmly approached the quivering prisoners and holstered his gun. From his pocket he withdrew a red-and-white armband, emblazoned with the Polish eagle, and slipped it on. "We're AK," he said. "Armia Krajowa, the Home Army. Get inside."

He followed the prisoners into the building and down to the cellar, glancing around in satisfied amazement. It was better than he had thought. Jammed into the damp, earthen-floored room, stacked floor to ceiling, were hundreds of wooden crates, their contents clearly identified with stencils in typical German thoroughness: Gew-43 rifles, MP-38 submachine guns, 7.92mm anti-tank rifles, Mausers, Lugers and thousands of rounds of ammunition. It was a cache of weapons the AK desperately needed. It would keep them going for another week, perhaps longer.

Two of the AK commandos dragged Brandt's body and those of the SS troopers into the building, stripped off the troopers' uniforms and put them on. They took the automatic rifles and went back outside. The assassin dispatched a runner to the City Center AK commander, who would send in reinforcements and move up the barricades. The AK had gained another kilometer of territory.

Then he motioned to one of the other commandos, who tossed him a canvas bag. The assassin untied the drawstring, withdrew a handful of red-and-white armbands and held them out to the prisoners. "You're free men now. You can join us or not. It's your choice."

The prisoners stood immobilized, their dark, sunken eyes wide with astonishment. They were a scrawny lot — dirty and unshaven, lice crawling through their hair — and they were wary, accustomed to expecting the worst at any moment. Finally one of them, a tall emaciated Jew with a yellow star sewn on his uniform, stepped forward and whispered, "Thank you." He took an armband, slipped it on and saluted with a trembling hand. One-by-one the rest followed.

When the unloading activity resumed, the assassin sat down on one of the crates, removed his eyeglasses and carefully cleaned them with a handkerchief. He put them back on and lit a cigarette. His name was Adam Nowak, or it had been, back in another life. It was a name he hadn't used in five years, a name almost forgotten, like the life that had at one time existed for a reason other than murder and mayhem. To his comrades in the AK he was known by a code name, as they all were. His was Wolf. An appropriate name he'd always thought, a night stalker, an assassin.

Adam glanced at the beamed ceiling as the building shook, sending dust and bits of plaster drifting downward. The shelling was getting closer every night. He brushed the dust off his jacket. The AK had taken the Germans by surprise when they launched the Rising a week ago and had managed to take control of Warsaw's City Center, Old Town and a few other areas. But the victory was short-lived. Now they would pay the price under a barrage of German artillery.

Adam stood up, dropped the cigarette butt on the earthen floor and ground it out under his heel. He walked to the back of the cellar where an enormous, broad-shouldered man with a shaved head stood guard over two other SS troopers captured by the AK commandos when they stormed the cellar. The big man's code name was Hammer. He stood with beefy arms folded, glowering at the SS troopers, who sat on the dirt floor with their hands tied behind them.

Adam was short and slender, though deceptively strong. With his thinning hair and wire-rimmed glasses, many would expect that he was a banker or an accountant — or a student in law school which, in fact, he had been in his previous life. Standing next to Hammer, he seemed to take up hardly any space at all.

"What do we do with these two?" Hammer asked.

Adam looked down at the German soldiers. They looked young, he thought, just boys. Then he drew the Walther P-38 and shot both of them in the head.

CHAPTER 2

6 August


The train slowed around the last bend, rocking from side-to-side, steel wheels scraping against steel rails as it neared Warsaw's West station. Standing in the passageway between the fifth and sixth cars, Natalia Kowalska held onto a handrail with her right hand and glanced at her watch to check the time. They were three hours late. It was just past five o'clock in the afternoon, but it seemed like the middle of night. She'd seen the fires as the train approached the western suburbs, sliding deeper into the cloud of hazy smoke with every kilometer.

Natalia bent down to see out the window as they crept slowly into the station, passing a line of grim-faced German SS troopers, who stood on the platform clutching submachine guns. When the train finally shuddered to a halt with a blast of venting steam, Natalia jumped to the platform, blinking her eyes against the sting of smoke and ashes. As she pulled out the step to assist the departing passengers, she heard a clatter of hobnail boots pounding down the wooden platform. A guttural voice barked in German, "Raus! Raus! Everyone out!"

As the SS officer approached her, Natalia adjusted her blue railway conductor's cap and shouted to be heard over the noise, "This train is continuing on to —"

The officer jabbed his nightstick into her ribs. "Everyone off! Schnell! Mach schnell!" Then he marched on ahead, banging against every window, waving his hand, "Raus! Raus!"

Instantly it was chaos: bewildered people stumbling off the train and scurrying along the platform, dragging luggage and children behind them; SS troopers shouting; dogs barking; the air thick with smoke and haze. Natalia backed up against the brick wall of the station and watched for a moment, keeping her eye on the SS officer, who was trotting farther up the train, banging on windows, jerking people out of the cars and onto the platform. She removed her conductor's cap, stuffed it into the black bag clipped to her belt and stepped into the flow of departing passengers.

Outside, the chaos turned to mass pandemonium. Thousands of panicked and disorientated people clogged the streets, pushing and shoving in all directions. Fires raged while German army trucks plowed through the crowds, running over anyone who couldn't get out of the way. Soldiers leaned over the sides of the trucks, shooting indiscriminately at terrified civilians.

Pulled along with the frenzied crowd like a cork on the ocean, Natalia desperately tried to get her bearings. She was only vaguely familiar with this part of Warsaw, but the rendezvous with her contact was to be at a church in the Wola District, which she knew to be north of this station. The dense smoke and ash made it difficult to see the sun, but Natalia realized the crowd was moving south to escape from the fires. She had to get back across the tracks and head north.

After a few minutes, which seemed like an hour, the stampeding throng crossed a bridge over the railway, and Natalia spotted a breach in the chain-link fence running along the tracks. She shoved and elbowed through the crowd, glancing around to see if any soldiers were nearby, then scrambled down the embankment, dropped to her knees and crawled through the fence.

In the smoke-filled confusion of wailing people, machine-gun bursts and thumping artillery fire, Natalia sprinted across the tracks, then turned and trotted parallel to the fence line until she found another breach — this one caused by the charred remains of a bus that had plowed through the fence — and emerged on the north side.

Keeping to the side streets where there were fewer fires, Natalia made her way north, darting across intersections and ducking between burned-out buildings whenever she heard growling truck engines and clanking tank treads. She rounded a corner and was about to cross over the tram tracks that ran down the center of Avenue Kasprzaka when a crowd of shrieking women and children, running in the opposite direction, knocked her back against a building. As the frantic crowd rushed past, Natalia regained her balance and glanced in the direction they had come from. She froze and stood motionless as her mind tried to comprehend the gruesome scene before her.

Fifty meters away, in the middle of the street, a bulldozer was at work, scooping hundreds of human corpses onto a pile. A gang of SS troopers tossed scraps of wood and paper onto the pile, while another trooper wielding a flamethrower set it ablaze. Beyond the pile, a bus had overturned, and a third gang of SS troopers methodically machine-gunned the passengers crawling out through the windows.

Natalia crept back into the shadows between two buildings and leaned against a brick wall for support, swallowing hard as trucks rumbled past delivering more bodies to the blazing pile. She felt lightheaded and her stomach was churning, so she stayed a few minutes longer until the noxious stench of burning flesh finally forced her to move. Her legs tingled as she crept unsteadily between the buildings, found an alleyway and made a wide circle around the blazing corpses.


An hour later Natalia slipped through the side door of the Church of the Sacred Mother in the center of the Wola District, and was once again assaulted by the scent of death. This time it wasn't an actual smell — though the air was heavy with a pungent sulfurous haze — but more of an aura, an ominous feeling that something dreadful had just happened. She hesitated just inside the door and glanced down the shadowy hallway that led to the sanctuary as the last hazy glimmer of twilight filtered through the transom windows above the door. She took a step into the hallway and —

"Don't!"

She stopped.

"Don't go in there," whispered a voice from behind her.

The hairs on the back of her neck bristled, and she stood still for a moment, waiting until she could take a breath, then turned slowly toward the voice. As her eyes adjusted to the dim light, Natalia saw a figure standing in a narrow doorway at the end of the hall opposite the sanctuary. "Falcon?"

"Yes. Come quickly."

She took a step closer, and the tall, muscular man motioned with his hand. "Follow me. They may come back."

Natalia followed him through the doorway and down an ancient stone staircase. A lighted kerosene lantern hung from the wall, and Falcon grabbed it and continued on through another doorway. They hurried along a damp corridor with rough stone walls and a beamed ceiling for fifty meters, then entered a small windowless room.

Falcon closed the door behind them and set the lantern on a wooden table. In stark contrast to the madness outside, it was eerily quiet, the air musty, as though they had entered a tomb. "I thought you might not make it," Falcon said. He turned and placed a hand on her shoulder. "You've seen what they're doing out there?"

Natalia stared at Falcon in the flickering light of the kerosene lamp, then shrugged off his hand. "It's barbaric, even for the Nazis. There are bodies everywhere: women, children, piled up in the streets like cordwood. They're setting fire to them!" She ran a hand through her short-cropped brown hair and rubbed her irritated eyes. "Who on earth chose this location for the rendezvous?"

"Stag, of course. But we held this area until twenty-four hours ago."

Natalia cursed under her breath. "We got as far as the West Station," she said. "Then the SS ordered everyone off the train. Everything was on fire, and the area was crawling with storm troopers. I just barely got out of there."

Falcon hand-rolled a cigarette and lit it. He was a whole head taller than Natalia, with thick black hair and steely dark eyes. The bars of an AK captain were prominent on the collar of his makeshift uniform.

"The church?" she asked.

He shook his head. "They're all dead. The SS herded the whole group into the sanctuary — priests, nuns, a dozen or so children. Gunned them all down. Happened just before you got here. Damned good thing you didn't walk into the middle of it."

Natalia took the cigarette from him and inhaled deeply.

"What did you see on the way into Warsaw?" he asked. "We've heard they're bringing in reinforcements."

"That's why it took so long to get here. We were diverted onto sidings three times for German transport trains — tanks, armored cars, artillery, dozens of troop carriers." She glanced around the small, austere room, suddenly feeling claustrophobic, and took another drag on the cigarette. "The word is that Hitler's furious and he's gone berserk. Imagine a motley bunch of Poles wanting to take back their capital city."

Falcon managed a grim smile that faded quickly. "They'll step up the artillery barrage again right after dark, so we'd better get the hell out of here." He pointed at the black bag hanging from her belt. "Anything from Krakow? From the Provider?"

Natalia removed the folded conductor's cap from her bag, thumbed through the railway schedules, ticket vouchers and a variety of other official odds and ends, then carefully lifted up the false bottom. She removed an envelope and handed it to Falcon.

Suddenly, a thundering blast shook the building, and a beam cracked in the ceiling above their heads. Natalia instinctively dropped to her knees as the beam sagged, and a giant chunk of plaster broke loose and shattered on the floor.

Falcon shoved the envelope into the breast pocket of his jacket and grabbed the lantern. Natalia scrambled to her feet, and they bolted from the room as a second blast brought down the rest of the ceiling.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Katyn Order by Douglas W. Jacobson. Copyright © 2011 Douglas W. Jacobson. Excerpted by permission of McBooks Press, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Katyn Order 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Heavensent1 More than 1 year ago
The Katyn Order is an historical fiction set in WWII. Natalia is a resistance fighter for the Armia Krajowa (AK), Poland's home army and she has risen up against her Nazi oppressors to take back Warsaw during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Germany is losing the war and the Red Army is set to take control of the situation by strategically placing themselves around the city. The AK's situation is bleak, their food and water supplies are running low, their weapons are out-of-date, ammunition is scarce, and their bodies are piling up. With the Red Army stationed at the Vistula River, the AK are torn between that of salvation that they may bring or will they be captured, as once the Russians were adversaries with Germany, and the AK haven't forgotten. As the Nazi's rampage the city, killing everyone in sight, it's up to the AK to maintain the ground they have taken back from the Germans. Adam Nowak, aka Wolf, is a Polish born American citizen who was trained by Britain's elite, to become an assassin. He is the best sharpshooter the AK have and proves it by successfully removing several SS officers in order for the AK to advance ground and gain weapons caches. When Adam saves Natalia from an invasion, he cannot get her out of his mind. When the two meet again, they become friends and she is able to bring out his past in order for him to confront his demons. Someone has slaughtered over 20,000 men of the Polish army and left them in a mass grave. When it is discovered, the Russians blame the Germans for the atrocity. After Natalia and Adam find a document stating what actually occurred, they know that they must do everything they are able in order for the truth to prevail. Will they survive long enough for Poland to remain her own country, stopping the Russians from claiming it as Soviet territory or will the Order remain unsurfaced forever? I found this book to be well researched and had many interesting historical references. Reading about the events that occurred was appalling, the details given were quite graphic and one's imagination has no problem recreating the scenes being described. The heartaches and hardships of the resistance fighters gives a humanistic edge to the stories, as you realize everyone has a back story and you cannot resist wanting to know everyone's, for you don't know if, on the next page, that person was going to survive. I liked the characters of Natalia, Adam and Rabbit, each of them brought something to the book by becoming real in the readers eyes. Rabbit was my favourite character, here is a child who, by the fates that surround him, have become a man. His front is a brave one and when we get to glimpse the side of him that reminds you he is but a child, your heart breaks. The friendship between the three was very rewarding to read and the aftermath of the war may leave you with a tear or two. The Katyn Order was a commendable read, filled with historical data that may have your researching on your own account. I would suggest it to anyone who likes a good historical dramatic fiction.
honoliipali More than 1 year ago
The author tells 2 separate stories. The first 40% of the book tells of the Warsaw Rising in which the Germans basically ran over the Polish freedom fighters (AK) with a merciless siege. The Poles did inflict heavy damage on the Germans in their losing cause. The story then shifts to a mysterious document written by the Russians and signed by Stalin that authorized the extermination of 27,000 Poles. About 4,000 Polish officers died in the Katyn forest as a result of the Katyn Order. I found the story to be reasonably well written except that the author is repetitive in descriptions and sometimes far too descriptive causing the story to bog down. The ending bothered me to a great extent. I kept reading to find out what happened as a result of the Katyn Order being found by the hero Adam. It was like the ending fell off a cliff, or the author got tired of the storyline, or the completion date arrived too soon. I was very disappointed at the conclusion. I learned several historical lessons but so much of the book was fiction that I found myself wanting more of history. The entire premise of the book was fiction since it is unknown if the Katyn Order was an actual document. The author even went so far as to include a fictional journal at the end in what may be read by some as being an accurate depiction. If it were not for the Author's note at the very end of the book, the reader could easily be lulled into believing the book was based in fact rather than fiction.
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
This is the reason I read historical fiction--for books just like this. This is a book that is crafted with immeasurable care and precision, and it will leave you knowing more about something that is not normally discussed--the Katyn Massacre, an actual historical event. As I began the book, I was horrified at what I read. I always hear about the German atrocities, but I have heard very little about what the Russians did. I had no idea about what happened in Polish history, and there were many times I almost did not want to read the descriptions. The author was quite realistic in the way he wrote about the events in the book, and I came to care for many of the characters. The profanity in the book is often raw at times, but I found I could often get past that. I was a little upset when there was a sex scene (not described, but not necessary), but that is the Christian part of me who gets tired of characters in books having sex without getting married. I did not let either of these issues cause the rating of the book to go down. I was impressed with the author's writing of this book. He clearly researched it well, and I feel that I am a more informed person now. I somehow missed any of the modern discussion of this event, and I discussed many of the issues with my mom who knew a little more than I did about the Russian atrocities (but still not much). This is a book I can whole-heartedly recommend to historical fiction lovers out there. There is some romance in the book, but that is not the focus. If you are looking to read something that will open your eyes to some historical details you did not know, this is the book for you. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
LisaLickel0 More than 1 year ago
Jacobson’s second novel suffers no hint of sophomore syndrome; The Katyn Order is more mature and even better than Night of Flames. Carrying on from Night of Flames with the fate of Poland at the end of World War II and the months afterward, the author tells the story of the resistance movement and how the obliteration of Poles didn’t stop with the Nazis, but continued on after the ceasefire with the Russian NKVD. The book is unflinching in the detailed extermination efforts and I found the details amazing. True, there is a lot of description, again some of which I leafed through, but those who want a vicarious adventure through historical Poland will get what they want. It’s not until nearly half-way into the story that the title quest is explained. Jacobson takes an event from history and evolves a scenario of deceit, betrayal, murder, and a thrill ride in an attempt to save Poland. History knows that attempt failed. Adam Nowak, a resistance operative, meets and falls in love with another operative toward the end of the war. Eventually Adam learns that his uncle who raised him and was sent to a death camp is not dead after all, but a founder of the resistance. The uncle is also a keeper of a dire secret, the only copy of the order signed by Stalin to murder thousands of soldiers and officers in the Forest of Katyn. The Russians then blamed the Nazis when the massacre came to light. If, perhaps, this document can be found and shown to the world, Stalin and the Soviet Union might not be able to get their hands on Poland if international outrage holds sway. So, I admit I read the end of books upon occasion; I didn’t here. But I did stop and read some of the reviews. I fully expected the story to fall apart after reading several of them, one of whom apparently didn’t actually read the end. Instead I found Jacobson’s resolution of the events to be multi-layered, thoughtful, brilliant; the kind of ending that stays with a reader for days. The Katyn Order is ultimately a story of trust and faith, and lack thereof, of choosing sides and fighting for what you believe in. Highly recommended for those who love World War II gritty fiction. It is fiction, by the way, steeped in recorded events. The only reason I would consider giving less than five stars is because of the excessive blood and gore. That is war, and my slight squeamishness is too subjective to downgrade.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite This is not a book for the faint of heart. Douglas Jacobson’s book "Katyn Order" is a fictional account based on historical facts. In 1939 the Germans invaded Poland. Soon the Soviet Union also invaded the country. Polish soldiers and policemen were taken prisoners as were many others considered intelligence agents. The citizens lived under great tyranny. The Katyn massacre, aka The Katyn Forest massacre, took place in 1940. All members of the Polish Officer Corps were massacred. The official document ordering the massacre was signed by Joseph Stalin. There were approximately 22,000 victims. Among those killed were officers, police officers, landowners, factory owners, lawyers, officials and priests. The atrocities the Poles faced brought tears to my eyes. No one should ever have to go through what they did. In “Katyn Order” we have a hero almost larger than life. Adam Nowak was born in Poland but raised in the US. The British drop him in Warsaw to assist the Home Army as they struggle against the Germans. He meets Natalia, an AK member. The two search for a copy of the Katyn Order. The premise of the tale is that Dimitri Tarnov had given a copy of the order to Hans Frank. Once the Soviets drove out the Nazis, Tarnov was desperate to find the copy in fear of being labelled a traitor. The last half of the book was hard to put down. It was there that the pace quickens. The race to find the missing document becomes more frantic. Once the document is found Adam and Natalia know they have to make the document public; however, to accomplish that they must stay alive. This tale reaches a superb but perplexing climax. The romance between Adam and Natalia is heartwarming. The language used in this book should be toned down. The constant vulgar language detracted from the plot. If the language is softer I would suggest this book as a tool for a history class. As it stands, this is a great historical novel for adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sharon12WI More than 1 year ago
This book is about a WWII era atrocity that many people have never heard of - that I heard about when travelling to Poland this past summer...the places and people mentioned in the book make you feel as if you are there in that place in that time in history. Let us never forget how strong the Polish people are and what they have suffered and overcome in keeping their country and culture viable. Thank you, Mr. Jacobson, for this wonderful historical fiction.
NatalieTahoe More than 1 year ago
It's books like this that make me grateful for, well, books. Invariably there is always something that is new for me, and an event like this is one that we cannot forget. To do so, yet again does a disservice to the victims and their families, families who waited in vain for their loved ones to come home, never knowing that they had been mercilessly slaughtered. Adam and Natalia were characters I immediately liked, along with a young teenager nicknamed Rabbit, a skillful messenger and a general jack-of-all-trades, who particularly stuck with me. Reading about history can sometimes be a dry experience, but with Jacobson's knowledgeable and masterful storytelling, The Katyn Order instead becomes an absorbing and suspenseful ride through the end of World War II. It's a thoughtful exposé of the truths surrounding this event, while at the same time positioning a fictional story as its primary driver, which keeps the reader excited to continue reading and learning at the same time. It's this device that makes it difficult to put the book down, and The Katyn Order provided me with that same result - once I picked it up, I couldn't stop reading. When I had to put it down, I continued to think about the story, the brutality of war, particularly World War II, and the graphic moments that were included successfully served to provide me with just enough insight into the experiences that Adam and Natalia went through together and separately. The barbaric execution of Polish officers still makes me speechless with the intense sense of mournfulness of the act. While there were some moments of the love story between Adam and Natalia that had me shaking my head in disbelief, I had to question myself and ask what I would really do if I was falling in love and war raged around me. Because of this, I couldn't say I would or wouldn't act in the same way that the main characters did, and I'd like to think I'd be smart and run my butt off, far and away from certain death, but...maybe not. Maybe I would be completely overwhelmed with the magnitude of all of the emotions that war would force on me. So maybe I would just have a moment with a mysterious man while I was fighting to save my country and fighting for my people against horrible injustices. Now that I think about it, why not?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Attia More than 1 year ago
Good try,but where was the history of Katyn? Where is the inclusion of the Allies turning their backs on Poland because of "Uncle Joe" Stalin? 20,000 brave Poles were executed at Katyn,not 4.000. The Russians were also ruthless to Poland. Thanks for the Warsaw Uprising history lesson,but forget the romance and endless repetitive descriptions.
JConMartin More than 1 year ago
Imagine a heart-stopping love story set against the grotesque reality of the Warsaw Uprising. In THE KATYN ORDER, Adam and Natalia attempt to alter the outcome of the Potsdam Conference and the post-war status of their beloved Poland even as they confront the daily realities of capture, torture, and death--while daring to trust in life and in love. KATYN ORDER is a KnockOut. James Conroyd Martin Author of AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY & PUSH NOT THE RIVER