Cold Lonely Courage by Soren Paul Petrek

Madeleine Toche races to the front only to find her brother mortally wounded during the German Blitzkrieg attack on France at the outset of World War II.
His death and her rape at the hands of an SS Stormtrooper cast Madeleine down a path of terror and violence as her desire for revenge reaches a crescendo.

A quick but brilliant and compassionate read about the horrors of the Second World War and the strength of the people who fought back.

I couldn't put this book down. It's so very different from what I usually read, but it hooked me right from the start. It paints a very detailed picture of the era, and the entire time whilst reading, I couldn't help but think of the mini-series BBC has made about the war. I would love to see this book on screen.

Madeleine is such a strong character, L'ange de la mort. You don't want to be a bad guy with her in the vicinity. I loved following the two German military policemen Stenger and Willi too, it was very interesting to see the same story from another angle.
I did think the picture painted of the stereotypical French woman was a bit over the top though and there wasn't much middle-ground between über-evil Nazi and patriotic good person/hero.

The story is fairly gruesome and obviously contains a lot of death, but it's not overly graphic. There were parts that had me shuddering and even one where I was close to tears, but I never felt like stop reading.

All in all, it's a really good book that tells a very gripping story. It preserves history and describes a part of it that I hadn't heard before despite a big interest in the subject, and I would recommend anyone to read it and learn.

227 pages / published in 2009
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

Thank you to S.P. Petrek for supplying me a copy of the book to review.


  1. I love books about war. Okay, sounds kind of horrible, but really, these books that address such tragedies are always full of emotions - both raw and muted. Thanks for the review and heads up about this book. :)

  2. @BookGeek :) I know just what you mean. My pleasure!


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