The authenticity of The Letter by Barry Cole strikes at the very heart of war. It is very real and we are there. In The Letter, we are drawn into Franz’s fate as he leads his men with skill and nurtures them with compassion. Their camaraderie and bonding are supported by realistic dialogue. His comrades are personal losses to him and so we care about him and them as their sacrifices exemplify the human cost of war.Although descriptions are horrific, we very much want Franz to escape the horror and return to his family. The Letter is a masterful portrayal by Barry Cole of the cruelty and inhumanity of war. Well done. Read it. — Velma Lang for Readers’ Favorite
Safe from the horrors of war a German soldier makes the ultimate sacrifice
Having survived the hell of Stalingrad and two years of bitter fighting on the Eastern Front, Sergeant Franz Mayer found he was now a deserter. Not by choice, it had to be said but a reality nevertheless. Faced with the prospect of an SS firing squad, convinced that the war was in its final death throes his only hope lay in returning home.
If fate had condemned him it now came to his rescue and aided by an elderly couple who had lost their only son in the war, he was able to return to his family. But fate hadn’t finished with him just yet.
It was purely by chance that the convoy of lorries’ passed through the village but it changed everything. Plagued by his conscience after what he had witnessed, Franz knew there was only one thing left to do. He must return to the war.
But before leaving he wrote a letter to the old couple who had saved his life, asking his wife to post it should he not return. A letter that would unwittingly unite the two families and give them the strength to face the hardships which lay ahead in their war-ravaged country.
About the Author
Barry Cole was born in Yorkshire and after leaving the army he began contributing stories and articles to the monthly magazines of two Native American charities. With a love of film, he then studied for two years at the London Screenwriters Workshop. His first book, The Time Bandit was published in 2016, followed by a historical novel Shingas a few months later. His third book The Conquistadors Horse was published in 2018 and has been optioned as a short film by Looking Window Pictures.
His latest book The Letter, inspired by the Battle of Stalingrad is due for publication by Michael Terence Publishing in early 2021. After living on a narrowboat for several years he has now returned to his roots in North Yorkshire.