A gripping psychological thriller, taking the reader from 21st century Britain to the darkest days of war-torn Eastern Europe.
The cries of the innocent echo through the years…
Her obsession with history has cost Helen Kovacs her life. Helen’s research into the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe was a secret she kept from even her closest friend, Faith Lange. Now Faith, retracing Helen’s last steps, is convinced that the man the police have arrested is not the killer. Journalist Jake Denbigh’s investigations have led him to the same conclusion.
Faith is disturbed by Denbigh’s digging. Among the refugees from the concentration camps of Minsk were war criminals masquerading as victims. Could Faith’s beloved grandfather Marek be hiding such a secret? And does the reason for Helen’s murder lie in the mass graves of the Kurapaty Forest – or much closer to home?
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Praise for “The Forest of Souls.’‘
‘A haunting legacy of war’ Frances Fyfield
‘Banks… has managed to bring disturbingly alive the history of the Stalinist terrors and the brutal Nazi persecutions’ Daily Mail
‘A satisfying crime novel’ TLS
‘A breakthrough book… watch out for Carla Banks’ ObserverFrom the Author:
My father grew up in the forest of Byelorussia and was taken prisoner by Stalin's army during the first invasion of Poland. He escaped to England where he joined the Polish Free Forces, but he was never able to go home. He suffered from survivor guilt for much of his life, and he used to tell us stories about his childhood home. After his death, I found that he had written some of these down, including this poem about the last time he saw his mother: 1938/ I didnít see you/ 1939/ Was too late/ Do you remember when/ you came to see me/ standing there on Gorzow Station./ Where is Janek? Did he forgotten to meet me?/ And when I crept behind you/ pick you off the ground/ and twirl. And you pleaded/ Put me down. Put me down Janek./ What all this people will say./ And then you kiss me and ruffle my hair. The character of Marek Lange was inspired by my father, though his story is very different from my father's. I spent some time in Minsk researching the Nazi occupation of Belarus, and found the truly horrific story of that occupation. I have tried to tell something of that story, and its consequences, in this book.
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