Norway is a destroyed country at the end of World War II. After a relentless German occupation, Norwegians have lost more than imports and exports, everyday goods and services, communications and social events. Norway lost more than 10,000 men and women in the resistance as well as in slave labor and concentration camps scattered throughout Europe. Norway lost hundreds of teachers and religious leaders who died resisting Vidkun Quisling, the head of the Norwegian Nazi Party. Quisling’s demands for Nazi indoctrination to be taught in schools and churches forced teachers and pastors to quit their posts and work underground. Perhaps worst of all, Norwegian children were deprived of their childhoods, a most precious commodity.
It seems a horrendous assignment for Phyllis Bowden, a young woman in military intelligence assigned to the Office of the Military Attache in the American Embassy in Oslo. Her official tasks include intelligence duties and finding families of lost loved ones. These duties, as tough as they may be, pale when she’s faced with something that occurs outside the office. One night Phyllis finds a runaway child in a café bathroom one night, a little girl labeled a quisling because her Norwegian mother married a German officer. A contentious purge has overtaken the country and quislings are not to be tolerated. But the girl has been tortured and abused by the time Phyllis finds her. She's faced with the conflict of doing the right thing or doing what the government dictates. Either way could have international complications.
Meanwhile the love of her life, Joe Schneider, an Mi5 agent, has disappeared in Romania while on assignment and it's a race to find out what's happened to him. Between nerve-wracking tasks in her job, trying to decide the fate of the little girl and being heartbroken over Joe’s disappearance, Phyllis is in for the struggle of her young life and intelligence career.
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About the Author
I am an unabashed lover of mysteries. Sue Grafton, Sherlock Holmes, Lawrence Block, Walter Mosley, JA Jance and Tony Hillerman are just a few authors who have tantalized my imagination over the years and I reread their work whenever I need stimulation. And instruction. A writer goes to the master to learn that certain turn of phrase, a unique POV or how to kickstart the story reverberating in your head. I grew up in Illinois, moved to Arizona and, after college, toured some of the world including Puerto Rico, Florida and the Virgin Islands. I've traveled throughout my lifetime giving setting and tone new twists as my horizons expanded. My work as a teacher in Language Arts and video production have proven time and again to be superb launching pads for my writing. I write mysteries and historical fiction as SJ Slagle and western romances as Jeanne Harrell. My sister and I started writing children's books long ago and those are published under both our names: Sinda Cheri Floyd. The stories we write are loosely based on our collective experiences during childhood. But it's mysteries I come back to again and again. Enjoy my books and happy reading!