Cover Image: From a Dark Horizon

From a Dark Horizon

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From A Dark Horizon by Luke Mccallin[ to be published December 7, 2021

     Set on the western front in the ending days of World War I Mr. McCallin's book would seem to be a contradiction in terms.  After four years of constant slaughter with acres and acres of corpses as results of heavy fighting using modern killing machines to maximize the deaths the plot concerns the killing of various German soldiers by their own men.  Why the concern with murder when there is so much death involved is the crux of the story and the reasons for it with an attendant search for answers the rationale behind a fascinating novel.
    When a secret meeting of top commanders is called a bomb explodes killing many of the attendees.  Circumstances make it appear that one of the men in Gregor Reinhardt's company is the culprit.  But the man suspected kills himself and if Gregor does not want to be named a coconspirator he must prove himself innocent of any wrong doing in the crime.  Gregor's search takes him through the front lines and into Berlin and other parts of Germany.  He discovers a plot running through the German army which is based upon beliefs held which will be acted upon even after hostilities have ceased.  For example, in their haste to end the war the allies did not force the German army to surrender; a factor that influences decisions made later to enter a second world war. The allies also made sure that all the blame for the war lay with Germany ensuring that they bore the brunt of the reparations.  This factor caused a hyper devaluation of the Mark and a situation where the country underwent a complete devaluation of the currency with the population caught in an untenable economic situation. 
     The search for answers leads Gregor into a conspiracy caused by mutinous soldiers, the presence of a mysterious Russian nobleman and the presence of two doctors doing unofficial research into a mysterious debilitating disease which became known as Shell Shock and the first indications that mental factors present during combat could cause a mental breakdown and force a soldier to become unable to face battle conditions. As indicated the book is set during the final days of combat in the first world war but is intellectually quite beyond a war story and a fascinating read.  The author, in an afterward indicates that Gregor Reinhardt will be used in other novels telling the story of the ending of World War one and the conditions existent in the years after the end of hostilities.  These should be something to look for in order to enjoy the examination of causes and effects of an era not that far removed from our own time.
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