Sunday, January 15, 2012

Done: "Katyn Order" by Douglas W. Jacobson

Done: Katyn Order by Douglas W. Jacobson, 2010, 9781590135723.

Average novel. The topic and war setting were neat but the characters did not grab me.

Adam Nowak is an assassin in occupied Poland. Adam partly grew up in Poland, emigrated to the US with his father, joined the US Army, was discharged, went back to Poland, was kicked out of Poland to London, joined the OSS.

Natalia's family was murdered by the Russians and Germans when Poland was cut in half. Natalia works as a train conductor and also couriers messages for a resistance group. During the Warsaw revolution (not the earlier ghetto uprising) she works for the armed resistance, the AK.

Natalia and Adam meet during the uprising. The Germans are slaughtering civilians and shelling everything. The Russians are camped on the other side of the river, refusing to assist the Poles. Natalia and Adam make a emotional/romantic connection but are separated.

After the krauts are defeated Adam is sent by the OSS to do something in Poland. I cannot remember what. The plot got a little confusing for me. Anyway, he is also looking for his Polish uncle who was rounded up by the dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking nazis. Adam searches the records of a camp and starts tracking down his uncle.

Adam enlists Natalia help. Adam and Natalia find evidence that a copy of the order by Stalin and co. ordering the mass murder of Polish civilians and soldiers. Intrigue ensues. NKVD is vicious. Adam and Natalia do the deed. More intrigue with Russians, Poles, and Brits. Much discussion of WWII events. Mostly happy ending except for all the dead Poles and the murderous Soviets taking over.

1. Jacobson did well in illustrating a part of WWII history that most people are probably unaware of. I was.
2. The Poles got fucked. First the nazis and Soviets split the country in half and murder a bunch of people. Then the nazis head East, take over the country and kill some more people. Then the Soviets drive nazis out, kill more people, and grind them under the boot heel for 40 years.
3. I thought the novel should have been shorter and the story simplified a bit with some editing. But, what do I know?

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