The War Widow

Rated 4.75/5 based on 4 reviews
John Petersen is a war-weary lieutenant assigned to guard the highest ranking survivors of Hitler’s Reich at the Nuremberg trials. His job is to keep Hermann Goering alive until he can be tried and hanged. In the course of his duties, Petersen runs into trouble from his mercurial commanding officer, his black-marketeering roommate and the mysterious Lisbeth Bichler who becomes their Hausfrau.

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About William Kelly Durham

William Kelly Durham lives in Clemson, SC with his wife Yvonne, their daughters Mary Kate, Addison and Callie and their dog, George Marshall. A graduate of Clemson University, Durham served four years in the US Army including assignments in Arizona and Germany before returning to Clemson and entering private business. He is the author of Berlin Calling and The War Widow.

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Scott Skipper reviewed on on Nov. 23, 2012

A masterful piece of work!

The War Widow is the story of the Nuremburg trails so one wouldn't expect the ending to be a surprise, but it is. Mr. Durham has woven multiple threads of intrigue into his finely executed version of a familiar piece of history. His knowledge and expression of military life propels the reader right into the scene and the character development is top notch from his handling of Herrmann Goering to the despicable Colonel Gaffner. The reader feels as though he's known these people all his life. The prose is compelling, the pace brisk and, as I said, the ending jerks the rug out from under you.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
Keith Renshaw reviewed on on Oct. 1, 2012

Excellent read can highly recommend this book to all who like me enjoy historical novels
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
tbclem reviewed on on Aug. 9, 2010

This historical-fiction book is a great read.
It has a little of everything - an interesting setting, good and bad guys, romance, a subplot or two and a surprise ending. It is apparent that it is well researched and edited. I certanly hope that Mr. Durham will continue to publish.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
John Harden reviewed on on July 18, 2010

This is a thought provoking story about a soldier assigned to guard one of the highest ranking Nazi leaders tried at Nuremberg - Herman Goering. The book's main character is based on Goering's actual prison guard - Lt. Jack G. Wheelis - who developed a friendship with Goering during the 1946 trial and was scandalized for it. How could a US Army officer befriend a Nazi monster like that? Well, maybe there were reasons.

At its core, it is about a time of transition - the time between war and peace - where old sins can be confronted and purged in preparation for a new beginning. It is reflected in the trial as well as in the relationship of a German war widow with this American GI.

The author - a former Army Intelligence Officer in Germany - provides a unique richness of detail to the story. My congratulations to Mr. Durham for a damn good first novel! We will be looking for more from him in the future!
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
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