The Swiss Courier
Imagine yourself in 1944 Switzerland, literally surrounded by a bloody war. Hitler’s Gestapo is tracking down enemies of the Reich, and Swiss heroine Gabi Mueller has volunteered for dangerous duty with the new American Office of Strategic Services (later to become the CIA). She will risk everything by attempting to guide a German scientist involved in developing the atomic bomb out of the Fuehrer’s grasp.
This gritty, no-holds-barred suspense novel creates an all-too-believable portrait of what it must have been like to live through the horror of those days of Nazi reign. The writing is solid for the most part, though the pacing feels uneven at times. Multiple viewpoints require the reader to skip from Gabi’s perspective into the heads of a list of other characters, but the transitions are well marked. The most impressive thing about this book is how deftly Goyer and Yorkey move the reader back in time with flawless research and vivid details of everyday life in this wartime era.
On the downside, this novel deserves a much more appropriate cover, if only because it may be misleading to readers who see the pretty blond model and assume this will be a romance with a gentler treatment of the terror and atrocities of wartime Europe. In one scene a distraught Jewish couple, escaping German agents, clutch their baby and leap from a bridge to their deaths in the river below. And this is just a mild taste of the violence we experience. Still, no one can say these scenes aren’t realistic. Writing like this, on a par with some of today’s most popular thrillers, deserves a package that lets readers know this is going to be a thoroughly terrifying ride.