Banks, Carla The Forest of Souls

ISBN 13: 9780007193806

The Forest of Souls

3.25 avg rating
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9780007193806: The Forest of Souls

A gripping psychological thriller, taking the reader from 21st century Britain to the darkest days of war-torn Eastern Europe.

A passion for history had already cost Helen Kovacs her marriage. Now she’s paid with her life.

Helen had told no one of her research into the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe. Even her closest friend and colleague, Faith Lange, had no idea – until she began retracing the dead woman’s steps.

Though the police have a suspect in custody, Faith is convinced that the murderer is still at large. And she is troubled, too, by the presence of Jake Denbigh, a journalist who appears to be investigating her grandfather, Marek, a refugee from the Eastern front.

Everything hinges on the memories of a 75-year-old whose will to survive preserved her through the horrors of minsk and the concentration camps, and enabled her to make a new life in England with her son.

Helen’s murder and its consequences will take Jake and faith on terrifying journeys: to Byelorussia where the mass graves of the kurapaty Forest have their own dreadful tale to tell; and into the heart of Faith’s own family where a tragic secret lies hidden…

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Review:

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’ Observer

From 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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Banks, Carla
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (2005)
ISBN 10: 0007193807 ISBN 13: 9780007193806
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