An epic story of a woman's search for her missing husband. A mysterious blue tile is a clue that takes her search back to World War II Austria. This beautifully written novel will endear readers to the fresh voice of rising new author Cindy McCormick Martinusen.
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This second novel by Martinusen (Winter Passing) fuses two seemingly unrelated stories one of a young American woman whose husband has disappeared, the other of members of the WWII Austrian resistance. Ambitious in its scope and narrative complexity, the novel explores several well-developed themes, like fragmentation, treasure hunts and the color blue itself. While such structural care is usually the province of literary fiction, Martinusen crafts a historical novel with popular appeal and a memorable female protagonist. Novels by, for and about Christian women abound, but they all too rarely give us protagonists like Kate Porter, a woman who, despite tragedy, is managing beautifully as a single mom, business owner and amateur sleuth. Also satisfying is Martinusen's treatment of Nazis and the Holocaust; in particular, she resists telling a simplistic story of evil Nazis and saintly resisters and instead focuses on a Kurt Waldheim-like character and others whose histories include both Nazi involvement and commitment to more noble causes. The novel's only weakness is that it does not quite succeed as a thriller. At nearly 400 pages, it can be a bit sluggish, with too many skimmable passages. This doesn't completely destroy suspense, but many plot developments are predictable and would be less so in a tighter, better-paced narrative. Regardless, Martinusen's gift for storytelling and passion for history add much to the world of Christian fiction.
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A lot of people like Martinusen's first novel, Winter Passing , about a contemporary woman's attempt to solve a mystery associated with the Holocaust. Though the characters change, Blue Night is a sort of sequel in that the connivings long ago of a group of German soldiers directly affect a modern woman, Kate Porter, whose husand disappears when the two are vacationing in Venice. There's no clue what happened except a small blue tile left on Kate's pillow. Five years later, prepared to declare her husband dead, Kate receives another tile in the mail. The reader knows, and Kate must discover, that the tile is from the soldeirs, aged now, gathered in Phoenix to fulfil their strange plan. John Mort
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