Book Review – Sinner’s Cross: A Novel of the Second World War by Miles Watson

In 1944, Sinner’s Cross was just a point on a map: a muddy track through shell-torn German woods. Worthless…except to the brass on both sides of the war, who are willing to sacrifice their best men to have it. Men like Halleck, a tough-as-nails Texan who traded driving cattle for driving soldiers; Breese, a phenomenal actor who can play any part but hero; and Zenger, the Nazi paratrooper who discovers Hitler’s Germany is a lousy place to grow a conscience. Their lives and deaths will intersect at the place called Sinner’s Cross.

My Review

Surely we don’t need another book about the second world war?  Especially one written by someone too young to know anything about it? 

Resist those thoughts because Sinner’s Cross is an exceptional book by an exceptional writer I expect that’s why it’s won so many prizes.  Set in a tiny corner of the western front it tells the story of a real battle through the eyes of three soldiers two of them American one German.  It’s an exploration of the meaningless of war and though there’s a fair bit about the horror of war too it does do a nod to the heroism as well.  On both sides.  One identifies with all of these soldiers. One wants all of them to win their war.  Such is the madness of war.

Absolutely realistic in its detail that sometimes I would have been happy to have a little less detail but I gritted my teeth but Miles Watson has certainly taken his research very seriously you could almost think he really had been there.  There are no villains in this book no goodies and baddies only men doing what they have to do because it’s war and they don’t have a choice. 

This is a book that is honest about war and what it does to the men that fight it for better or worse. Well worth a read.

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