In the Light of the Morning


May 1944 in the midst of the Second World War, and Lieutenant Tom Freedman is parachuted into Slovenia. He is an interpreter in intelligence and part of a small team of British military sent to co-coordinate the delivery of military supplies by air to the partisan groups operating in the area. His role is also to liaise with the various groups and is escorted to numerous units to organise drops of equipment. Freedman was plucked from academia and adapts with difficulty to the demands of the harsh and occasionally brutal nature of the partisan conflict with the occupying forces in Slovenia and the wider Yugoslavia.

There is very little back-story to the narrative – the focus is on the immediate marches from one group of partisans to another and his relationship with members of his partisan escort team. There is an element of romance with female partisans, even though the author hints quite strongly that Tom has unacknowledged homosexual inclinations. There are issues of political double-dealing among the military missions to complicate the project. The tale rattles along and focuses on the emotions of Tom, a sensitive and introspective young man, in surviving this harsh environment, knowing that he and his small band of soldiers will face immediate execution if caught by the occupying Nazi forces or the similarly brutal Home Guard. Tom grows into this challenging task as the tale unfolds, and the reader is fully engaged with the story and the cast of credible characters.

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