For Malice and Mercy

A World War II Novel

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Pub Date 15 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 15 Sep 2021

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Description

German immigrants Karl and Marta Meyer are loyal Americans, especially after an eye-opening visit to see their family during Hitler’s pre-war rise to power. When America enters the war, the FBI arrests the Meyers as spies, then strips them of their citizenship, rights, and livelihood. They are banished to a German/Japanese internment camp, but then violently targeted by Hitler loyalists. Deportation back to war-torn Germany seems their only hope of survival. Their son Hank enlists in the US Army Air Corps, hoping his pay can save the family’s home. After his B-17 is shot down, his ability to speak fluent German helps him evade capture. When the Gestapo is on his trail, he’s pursued as a spy and faces certain death if they can catch him. His life depends on the daring plan of two unlikely collaborators. This meticulously researched novel reveals untold stories of legalized hatred and the cost of unjustified suspicion. For Malice and Mercy has great relevance for our day, weaving a spellbinding saga of treachery, survival, and unmerited forgiveness.

German immigrants Karl and Marta Meyer are loyal Americans, especially after an eye-opening visit to see their family during Hitler’s pre-war rise to power. When America enters the war, the FBI...


A Note From the Publisher

This meticulously researched WWII family saga is inspired by actual events, revealing little known stories of government and personal betrayal, and the result of unmerited forgiveness.

This meticulously researched WWII family saga is inspired by actual events, revealing little known stories of government and personal betrayal, and the result of unmerited forgiveness.


Advance Praise

"...dramatically engaging and unsettling...(it's) a disturbing, provocative, and vivid war tale that’s loaded with lesser-known historical details."  - Kirkus Reviews

"Multifaceted, complex, and satisfyingly realistic. No World War II fiction collection should be without this wide-ranging story of mystery, struggle, and social and political dilemmas."   -  Midwest Book Review

A well-researched, well written and interesting portrait. The story creates characters that the reader cares about, and their fates are by no means assured in the time of war; readers will keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.”  -  IndieReader

"For those drawn to the intricacies of wartime drama, For Malice and Mercy delivers a well-crafted account of sacrifice and betrayal, triumph and forgiveness, all in the face of the human will to survive.  - Blue Ink Reviews

"...dramatically engaging and unsettling...(it's) a disturbing, provocative, and vivid war tale that’s loaded with lesser-known historical details."  - Kirkus Reviews

"Multifaceted, complex, and...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780981848976
PRICE $18.95 (USD)
PAGES 584

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Average rating from 65 members


Featured Reviews

This book was well researched and well paced with an intriguing storyline that is not often included in historical fiction books set in this time.

The notes explaining where the author got the ideas were interesting and a welcome footnote at the end of each chapter.

I throughly enjoyed this book and hope to read another by this author soon

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A spellbinding story! I found it difficult to tear myself away from this book. Full of history and fiction for entertainment.
You will find yourself holding your breath waiting to find out what happens next. Wonderfully written characters you'll connect with and find yourself cheering for throughout the book.
Amazing book, I couldn't put down. Certainly one you should add to your "To Read List".

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German immigrants Karl and Marta Meyer are very loyal Americans living in Utah with their son, Hank and daughter, Ella. They had come to America for the religious freedom it offers as they were Morman. When America enters the war against Germany, Karl and Marta are arrested as spies and stripped of their citizenship. Their teenaged children are left to maintain their house, farm and farm animals. They are sent to a German/Japanese internment camp where there are violently targeted by Nazi supporters. Their children were surprised at how many people that they thought were friends treated them horribly and taunted them including have red swastikas painted all over the front of their house. In order to have money to keep their house, Hank joins the US Army Air Corp. After training, he is sent over to England as a crew member on a B-17. HIs plane is shot down over Germany and he risks death if he is caught by the Gestapo.. Ella goes to nursing school. This book is a very accurate account of how Germans were treated in the USA during the war. The government covered it up after the war and made German American citizens sign documents that they would never speak of how they were treated to anyone or they risked deportation. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it...

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Once in a while you read a book that changes the way you think, "For Marlice and Mercy", is one of those books. A well written book about World War II history that I had never heard of. This story draws you into the lives of a family from Germany who were American Citizens who were sent to a remote internment camps (alongside the Japanese). I love how the author states historical facts, so that you know what he is writing is true. It is also about WASPS, women who flew military planes in the war, which is fascinating. I recommend reading this book.

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I’ve read many WW2 novels but this one, which is inspired by true events, is a little known story which exposes the mistreatment from officials of the US Government.
It’s a full bodied story about a German family living in Utah and the events and ramifications of WW2 that occur. Gary W Toyn took 4 years of meticulous research, including visiting the locations, to write ‘For Malice and Murder’, which was inspired by his friend’s war time story and what a story it is, full of historical facts which anchor the real horrors and consequences that were experienced through WW2 on a level that is quite unbelievable.
A memorable book, prepared to be shocked, saddened and disbelieving of the terrible crimes committed however, the thread throughout the book is faith.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction set toggling between the USA and Germany during the World War 2 era. We followed a group of young adults out of Utah who came of age right as the enlistment and drafting was occurring. Each had a unique contribution to the war effort. Wonderful story. My favorite part was the unique use of footnotes in each chapter citing the evidence basis from which the author crafted the story.

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This is a very interesting and well-researched novel. I learned a lot about the internment of Germans and the further treatment of Germans in the US. It surprised me that naturalized citizens had their citizenship stripped so easily. I also learned a lot about the WASPS. That was fascinating. Overall, the only thing I found distracting was the focus on faith and the Mormon church.

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i loved this book is was a real epic adventure and so informative of how the war affected immigrant families .I was totally engrossed in each of the characters lives . They were all lovable and will recommend to all my friends

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Lots has been written about the experience of Japanese-American immigrants during WWII. This is my first encounter with anything focused on the German-American experience. Gary Toyn's novel For Malice and Mercy is an eye-opener. This well-documented account of how Germans were treated in the USA during the war is heart-wrenching in retrospect, but sadly so believable. Their story was buried by our government after the war, when officials made German-American citizens sign non-disclosure agreements as a term of their release and return of property. These NDAs threatened deportation if they ever told how they were treated. Chapter end notes highlight the source of many experiences woven into the storyline.

German immigrants Karl and Marta Meyer are very loyal Americans living in Utah with where they moved for religious freedom and raise a family in the Morman faith. But when America enters the war against Germany, Karl and Marta are arrested as spies and stripped of their citizenship. Their teenaged children are left to maintain their house, farm and farm animals. At the German/Japanese internment camp where they are sent, the couple is violently targeted by Nazi supporters. Their children, back in Utah, are shunned by friends and members of their church, and their home is trashed and tagged with red swastikas.

As the war progresses, their son Hank joins the US Army Air Corp, both to defend his country and to earn money to pay their mortgage. After training as a crew member on a B-17, he's deployed to England and shot down over Germany. Captured and sent to a German POW camp, he hides his Germany roots to avoid the Gestapo labeling him as a spy. Meanwhile their daughter Ella goes to nursing school and works at a military hospital in Utah. Lots more happens to divide and haunt the family but I don't want to put any additional spoilers into the review.

This book is a great read, especially for historical fiction fans. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance reader copy. This review is my own opinion.

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I have read a lot of books about WWII, both fiction and non-fiction. I was aware that there were camps housing suspected "spies" in America during the war. I never read anything about them nor did I really even give them a second thought. Needless to say I have made a grave error in not learning more about some of the negative roles the U.S. itself played during the war. Always so used to hearing that horn being tooted and our praises sung about our dramatic and heroic entry into and subsequent defeat of the Nazi. I never considered that there are things we should bow our heads in shame about. No one is completely good or completely innocent, there is always a negative if you have a positive. I have just kept my blinders on too long.
This novel is based on one German families true experiences during those times. The parents are naturalized American citizens, the children, having been born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens by birth. This does not protect them when the parents are arrested in the middle of the night on unsubstantiated claims of being spies and collaborating with the Germans against the U.S.. The children are left to try and maintain the family home and their way of life. The parents are stripped of their constitutional rights and ended up in horrific amps under appalling conditions until they were eventually deported back to Germany.
The author took years to research this book meticulously and did a great job with it. We all know about the horror of Auschwitz, Dachau and the other German concentration camps, but there is little if anything said about the cruelty and mistreatment of fellow human beings on this side of the Atlantic. My parents never mentioned a thing about these camps and they were very much present and involved during WWII. Not a word was said.
This is a wonderful, eye-opening experience for me, giving me many new things to contemplate and ponder about the U.S.'s role during WWII.
Thank you to Net Galley and American Legacy Media for the free ARC of this novel, I am leaving my honest review voluntarily in return.

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This engrossing novel is a family saga of the Meyer family, who were born in Germany and became US Citizens who started their family in the US, and how each one was affected by WWII both in Europe and their hometown in Utah. I’ve read numerous books about WWII, both fiction and non-fiction, and this author touched me to my core like no other.
I never knew about the horrible detention camps for US citizens here in the USA where Americans were treated horrendously due to their heritage. I found this particular storyline to be upsetting and shocking as I never realized that Americans were treated so badly during the war on their own soil.
I particularly enjoyed the author’s notes at the end of each chapter which gave the true account of events that occurred in the chapter. These notes made this historical fiction novel come to life, tugging at one’s heart when realizing these things happened to real people.
If you’re a fan of WWII, this one needs to be on your TBR list!

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I read For Malice and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn. This book is essentially about the treatment of loyal German-Americans and Japanese-Americans in America during the Second World War was beyond reprehensible. Of course there were those of German and Japanese descent who worked gladly as spies for their governments. Then there were those whose whole life had been lived as true loyal Americans, only to have their adopted country turn on them. Even good neighbors harbored suspicions and turned them in to the authorities for perceived subversive activities.

This is the story of Karl and Marta Meyer, good American citizens whose neighbors brutally determined that they were a threat to America. The oldest son, Hank, joined the services in order to show his American loyalty. The parents, Karl and Marta were eventually taken from their farm and interred in a camp. Conditions there were less than good and eventually the two were sent back to Germany. There they lived the war as it happened with their relatives.

I could tell more, but the story itself is so intriguing and suspenseful that I don’t think it would serve the future reader’s full enjoyment of reading the book. I loved the book and the author certainly did a wonderful job of keeping the reader involved to the end.

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I have read dozens and dozens of books about World War II. This is the first book that I have read about the internment of German-Americans and the costs to those American citizens. The book is fiction, but based on many facts about the times. It is a well-written and fascinating story. Gut-wrenching at times, but well worth the read. I applaud the author.

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<i>For Malice and Mercy</i> by Gary W. Toyn is that rarity, a novel based on historical fact that is still a novel, weaving together two families’ wartime experiences. The characters are believable and fully developed against an equally vivid and fascinating background. For those who take an interest in historical accuracy, Mr. Toyn has listed the records, documents, memoirs, and other sources for each incident. The only way it could have been improved was by careful copy editing, and yes, I am picky about typos, Saxon genitives, and (lack of) punctuation.
Even beyond its human and historical interest, <i>For Malice and Mercy</i> is scarily relevant today, when propaganda and fear can still lead to hate and acts of cruelty.
Netgalley sent me an ARC for my unbiased review of <i>For Malice and Mercy</i>, which is scheduled for publication on September 15, 2021.

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The story is about the families of Karl and Marta Meyer, their neighbors and friends in rural Utah. Billie Russell is a free spirit who wants to learn to fly and is able to to take lessons at the local airfield. Billie ends up being a pilot in the WASP's program. Her best friend, Ella Meyer has desires to be a nurse. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, America declares war and everyone wants to do their part in the war effort. Hank , Ella's brother, is not old enougih to enlist. Hank argues with his parents to sign the papers to enlist. and join with his friends to do his part in the war. With the advice from his Uncle Willy, Hank is later able to join the Army Air Corp.
Karl and Marta immigrated to America from Germany after the Great War. They have made a nice home in Huntville, Utah. Their world is turned upside down when the FBI come and take them to an internment camp. The details of the story continue with the lives of these characters and how the war affects them.
I enjey this story and appreciated the footnotes at the end of the chapters with the details of the research the author had done. I appreciated the realistic distriptions of the events that happened during this time period. I also appreciated the details of the religious practices of the characters. As I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I could relate to the life style they discribed. I also was familiar with the interment camps for the Japanese but was unaware of the camps for the Germans.
The book was enjoyable and at times read like a Family History. I highly recommend.

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I received this book as an ARC and this is my review. I loved this book! This is an amazing story set during World War II, largely based on true incidents. It covers life in the US and Germany during this tumultuous period. Instead of focusing on battles, this is an up close view of the people involved in the war and follows their personal struggles and achievements. I totally recommend this book to any reader who enjoys the story inside the big picture.

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Inspired by real people and events, the author of For Malice and Mercy writes about atrocities which happened in America when the country joined WWII. After many chapters he includes research notes detailing true stories and details of the time, all fascinating to read. Though the stories contain brutal details, they are real. They happened to real people on every side of the war. Here we follow the story of one Jewish immigrant family from Germany who are Americans...and proud of it. Karl and Marta Meyer are living in Utah when they were suddenly taken from their homes and interned at Santa Anita where thousands of other Germans and Japanese were imprisoned as they were deemed as threats to America. They were eventually deported.

Brother and sister Hank and Ella are alarmed at their parents' disappearance but their hands are tied. Hank is actively involved in the war effort in Europe. Their friend, Billie, is a WASP. Survival for all of them is life and death, in differing ways. I really like seeing several perspectives and learning much more about American internment camps. The Pentagon letter is riveting...I really had no idea. The historical details are incredible...often chilling, at times heartwarming. Lives were turned upside down, betrayal was rife and desperation drove people to do things they would never have contemplated earlier.

It is obvious this author cares in his thoroughness and careful treatment of the topic. If you are intrigued by WWII in general, do read this book. I'm so glad I did! This is a remarkable look at history and the author brings is close to home, very personal and focused.

My sincere thank you to American Legacy Media and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this informative and compelling book.

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For Malice and Mercy by Gary Toyn brings together the stories of several residents of the town of Huntsville, Utah, as they navigate World War II and all the changes it brings to their lives. It covers lots of topics - interment camps, deportation, prisoner of war camps, PTSD, the women who ferried planes from one point to another - to name a few. Add in the hardships the war brought to everyone and the suspicions born of fear, and we can understand a tiny bit of what life during World War II was like. Fascinating read from both a fictional and historical point of view.

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Forgiveness sets your heart free

Karl and Marta Meyer immigrated from Germany to the U.S. and raised their two children in Utah. When Pear Harbor was bombed tensions grew tight in the U.S. Japanese American's and German American's were rounded up and sent to internment camps. One day the FBI came and arrested Karl and Marta and they were sent to an internment camp and then deported to Germany.

Their son Hank is a soldier in the Army Airborne unit, and their daughter Ellie is training to be a nurse. The best friend of Ellie is Billie who lives with her grandmother across the street. Billie flies planes in the WASP which is a new division for women pilots.

The story is about the horrors of war both in the U.S. and in Germany. How some citizens of the U.S. were treated as spies because of their place of birth. It tells of the conditions in the internment camps. It is a story of the Nazi's in Germany and the horrible acts they committed against innocent people. The sights our young soldiers saw that tormented them far after the war was over. How faith kept a soldier surviving in an awful prisoner of war camp and how he found it in his heart to forgive one of his tormentors.

We see how families worry and grieve for each other when they are in danger and how much love and faith holds a family and friends together. The horrible part of war but also the goodness of people willing to help others.

It is an inspirational story steeped in history. I loved the history briefs at the end of some of the chapters. I learned so much I did not know. It was a good story, well written and well researched. I would recommend this book.

Thanks to Gary W. Toyn, American Legacy Media, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a complimentary copy of the book for my honest review.

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What a captivating read this was! It does not get much better than this - a WWII Historical Fiction book based on real events. I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though I was a little intimidated by the length of it, but it flowed along so quickly. Ella and Hank Meyer are siblings born to German parents who moved to the US when they were young. Billie Russell is Ella's best friend and lives next door while Chester Bailey is a new neighbor who becomes close friends to all of them, especially Billie. When the war starts, Chester enlists and Hank enlists when he is old enough. Billie becomes a pilot and delivers war planes while Ella becomes a nurse. The stories of these individuals are so intertwined with each other which makes this such an addictive read. I found the notes, at the end the chapters, very informative.

Thank you NetGalley and American Legacy Media for the ARC of this fascinating book which was well researched and well written.

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This was a fairly long book. When I started it, I remember thinking "this better be good for me to stick with it through 584 pages". As I moved along through the story and got to know the characters, I didn't even notice where I was in the book until I hit 50%. Then I thought "well the first half was really good and I have to see what happens to all these people I now know and care about". And when I finished it last night, I said "No, it can't be over yet! I have to find out what happens in the rest of their lives!" This book is that good. One technique I especially liked was the chapter notes at the end of a lot of the chapters. The book is a work of fiction about German immigrants in the US during WWII who are rounded up and sent to a camp in Texas under suspicion of being German spies. They ultimately get their US citizenship taken away and deported back to Germany as part of a POW trade deal. They leave behind in America an adult son and daughter who finds ways to participate in the war effort against Germany and have their own share of ups and downs with carrying a German name and speaking German fluently. The chapter notes explained actual events that happened during that time that the author wrote into his characters' lives. He gives the real names of the people he based the characters on and where you can find more about their story. It really made the whole story come alive more to think this stuff happened to real people and wasn't just invented in the author's mind. I read in the notes at the end of the book that the author mostly has written non-fiction books but I have to say that he made the transition to fiction very smoothly. I loved this book and would highly recommend it.

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This excellently written and thoroughly researched historical fiction novel of WW II started a little slow for me but gradually worked its way into my mind and heart. The main characters are fully developed and display all sides of their humanity-good and bad-over the course of the plot. Telling the story of WW II from the side of German Americans and women pilots-two under reported groups-made this doubly interesting to me. I thank #netgalley, the publisher and the author for this ARC of #formaliceandmercy to read.

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This book taught me some of the untold stories of WWII and I have never read anything quite like it. It is based on one German family’s true events and is very eye opening. It is an incredible story.
Many thanks to American Legacy Media and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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It isn’t enough to say this was a wonderful book. It simply isn’t. I’m not sure I have words to do it justice, but I’m going to give it a try.

I enjoy historical fiction very much, especially the WWII time period. One of the chief reasons is that it’s entertaining as well as informative. I’ve never come away from such a book without learning new information in a compelling and gripping way. For Malice and Mercy is a great example.

For instance, I knew that many Japanese Americans we’re interred and relocated during WWII, but I didn’t know the same was true of German Americans. That was the case with Karl and Marta Werner, ripped from their home in the night, held without due process or charges, interred and ultimately deported to Germany. Could they have been treated more un-Americanly?

Their children, Ella and Hank, left to pick up the pieces in a community that subsequently saw them as traitors. Still they carried on. Ella becoming a nurse and Hank enlisting in the Army Air Corps. Coming from a Mormon background in Utah, much of the trouble they experienced both in the community and trying to settle their beliefs against the realities of a cruel war presented an ongoing struggle. Hank, after being shot down, betrayed by his grandmother and sent to a POW camp lost faith. Through a set of “miraculous” events he found his way back and to Billie, a hometown girl, who herself had to find a way home.

Wonderfully researched and written. Thank you Gary Toyn and NetGalley for the chance to read and offer my review.

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TLDR version…Go ahead and read this one. It is an excellent book with a great story that will leave you feeling like you read something of value when you finish it.
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For Malice and Mercy was an excellent book. Set in the time of World War II, the reader joins Hank, Ella, Marta and Karl Meyer and Billie Russell in their various experiences throughout the war. I found it quite easy to get into this book. As a native of Utah, stories involving certain geographical references took me back to my experiences with those same locations- Ogden canyon can be quite beautiful and treacherous at times and Farr’s Ice Cream is certainly a place that should be visited if one is in Ogden. Nevertheless, by no means would a tie Utah be a prerequisite to enjoying this book.

In particular, I loved how Toyn weaved history into this novel. As a character would experience a particular event, it was fun to guess if what happened was real or just fiction to help move the story along. More often than not, a note at the end of the chapter would reference something that really happened. Some events were quite big and bold, but I was intrigued to find a note at the end of one particular chapter pointing to something that was experienced by Toyn’s grandmother.

Toyn skillfully allows the reader to connect to the character. There were times when a particular event would grab at my gut as it unfolded. This book only adds to the respect I have for those of the Greatest Generation who had to experience the ravages of war and the particular inhumanity that was part of World War II.
The 575 pages of this novel move fast. I certainly didn’t want to put it down. Read it. You won’t be disappointed.

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I thought I had just about had it with reading World War II novels; I’ve read so many over the last two years. But, this one was well worth it. The story is beautifully told and exposes some history of that era with which many of us are not familiar….how the United States treated many of its German citizens. Near the end of the book, it is revealed why so many of us are not knowledgeable about it. Ditto the history of and conduct toward the WASPS.

There are religious aspects throughout, but they are not overdone and interweave well with the story. It is an engrossing read, with strong characters who will make an impression on many readers. The title is perfectly descriptive….here, we encounter malice as well as mercy.

Lest the reader doubt the authenticity of some of the actions, Toyn, who has done extensive research, used end of chapter notes to identify real life events on which they were based. I liked this method of citation rather than footnotes or end of chapter notes. No need for the reader to Google!

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For Malice and Mercy is one of the best WWII books I have read! This WWII story is from the perspective of an American born of naturally born German parents who arrived in America after WWI, whose grandparents were still in Germany. The author did an exceptional job of weaving real history into the story of Hank, Ella, and Billie (a women)! Character development was superb. You will get to know Hank, who wants to join the military before his 18th birthday and how his father did not want him to. You will get to know Hank and Ella’s parents who are captured by the US and held in captivity during the war for being German born. You will get to know Billy a tom boy in the 1930s who becomes a WASP for the military (but not in the military). Ella is the one left behind to handle the abandoned farm, get her nursing degree and do what she needs to do in America. Truly inspiring and heartbreaking. There is a strong undertone of faith in this book.

Because I received this book through NetGalley, I did not get the published version, I hope the notes are left in the published version, as the notes referring to the real people that the author borrowed the history from, made the book so real. I also highly recommend reading this rather than listening to it, as typically the audio versions do not highlight the notes or the author's notes and acknowledgements, which also added to the story.

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Not many Americans are aware off the German internment camps in the US during World War II
This is a fiction novel that was inspired by true event in the US. One of the better kept secrets on how naturalized American Citizen that were born in Germany were discriminated against, stripped of their citizenship, imprisoned and deported back to Germany often with bad results ones they arrived back in Germany. They were treated as spies in the US and in Germany.
At the end of each chapter the author gives a footnote clarifying the factual data that inspired the story.
Another item is the treatment of the woman pilots. They were never fully accepted by the military, dealing with cranks from the all-male military including sabotage of the planes that ended some of them costing their lives.
Hank barely survives his time as a prisoner of war in Germany and his doubts about his religion doesn’t make it easier.
The religious undertones in the book is done in a nice way without it been preachy so that even a non-religious person will not take offence and enjoy the book
This is definitely a book worth reading

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I have an absolute fascination with WWII, especially the pacific theater but I almost always seem to forget that there were, in fact, German Americans in the United States at the time.

This is the story of the family of a naturalized German Family and their experiences during WWII.

The book was well researched, something that the author reminded you at the end of chapters with historical notes. Now these notes, while useful, do have the potential to pull you out of the story if you are someone that needs to just stay in the story.

Karl and Marta are naturalized German immigrants that settled and raised a family in Utah. As WWII goes on tensions in the community arise and after the events of Pearl Harbor, the family finds themselves rounded up and sent to an internment camp by the FBI and eventually deported to Germany.

Their son, Hank, went into the Army and their daughter, Ellie, was training to be a nurse.

This story is about how the family has to work through these events. How they find themselves trying to survive in a world where it feels like no one wants them.

Lives are tossed upside down, betrayal is just around the corner, and desperation drives.

This book had a lot going on and could have easily been its own duology or trilogy with each book focused on just one group but that did not take away from the book in my opinion. In fact, it made the book something harder to put down because i wanted to know what happened next.

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Just when you think you have read every kind of WWII novel you could read, you are blindsided by one so good, so unique and written so we'll that you have to let everyone know!!

For Malice And Mercy: A World War II Novel by Gary W. Toyn is a historical fiction novel, but based in historical fact. Mr. Toyn has told such a great story, complete with chapter notes, to provide historical context to his story. This is a story about Hank and Ella. They are son and daughter to German immigrants, Karl and Marta. Karl and Marta immigrated to the US, met each other and we're married, and had Hank and Ella. They become naturalized citizens and are living their life in America when Pearl Harbor is bombed by Japan. Once that happens the government starts to round up not only Japanese immigrants, but German ones as well(historical fact). This book follows Karl and Marta's arrest and internment in a P.O.W. Camp, Ella's life in becoming a nurse and Hanks life and a enlisted man in the Army Air Corps. There is so much to this book, as it follows their lives before, during and after the war. But what is most prevalent is the amazing amount of research done to tell this story. And just when you think you have learned everything about WWII along comes another book that teaches you something new. Thank you Mr. Toyn, for creating such an amazing book. 4⭐

Thank you to Netgalley, American Legacy and Gary W. Toyn for the eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review

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For Malice and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn

I've read novels that deal with the WWII interment of Japanese Americans and also camps that housed German POWs in the United States. I wasn't aware that over 11,000 German Americans were also sent to internment camps and many of them were then sent to Germany, a country that they had left so they could live in the United States. This story tells us about Karl and Marta Meyer, German immigrants, loyal Americans, and parents to two children who were born in the United States. Once the US enters the war, the FBI began rounding up some German Americans and Karl and Marta are taken from their home and stripped of everything, including their citizenship and rights.

Still, their son, Hank, wants to serve his country and he enlists in the US Army Air Corps while his sister works long hours as a nurse. There are also their friends, Chester, who is in the Navy and Billie, who is able to use her pilot skills to serve in one of the ways women were allowed to help during the war. This story uses real life events, either leaving them as they really happened or using those events as the basis for things that happen to the Meyers and their friends.

The story is told in a casual manner, as we get to know the characters and the challenges they face. After some chapters there will be notes describing the real events and how they were altered for the purpose of this story. Often I will research subjects of the historical fiction I am reading but there were enough notes that I didn't feel the need to look for more information. I did feel like the notes inserted throughout the book did take me out of the story and I would have liked them to be at the end of the book with the other documentation.

There is so much of the story that I could relate to what I've already read and I enjoyed being aware of events, large and small, while learning of real events that I didn't know as much about. Thanks to this story, I want to know a lot more about the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) and the dangers and resentments they faced as they did their part to help the war effort. I have gotten to add some new perspectives in the way I understand how WWII impacted Americans, including the German Americans who were persecuted in such shameful ways.

Thank you to American Legacy Media and NetGalley for this ARC.

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This is a great story that tells the story of German naturalized citizens and their family during World War II. I’ve read about what happened to Japanese Americans, but was not aware of similar stories for Germans. Karl and Marta were born in Germany, immigrated to the United States and became citizens. They had two children and were leading a good life on their farm when they were falsely accused of being German spies. They were initially sent to an interment camp, but eventually were deported back to Germany. Through other characters, including their children, the author tells us of women piloting planes around the country, and nursing injured soldiers. We hear stories of pilots and prisoners of war. The author also includes footnotes at the end of most chapters that tell the facts he used to create fascinating stories for his characters. All in all, this is a book worth reading.

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Like the author, I am a fan of World War II books. “For Malice and Mercy” is a story of the Meyer family and a few of their friends in the years from 1939 through 1945. The parents, Karl and Marta are arrested and sent to an internment camp for several years. They are stripped of their status as U.S. naturalized citizens and ultimately deported against their will to war-torn Germany where they are arrested as spies.

The Meyer children, Hank and Ella were born in the U.S., thus avoiding internment, but they suffer the loss of their parents as teenagers and have to take care of their home and farm to avoid foreclosure. Hank joins the Air Force when he is old enough and ends up as a prisoner of war, while Ella manages to get through nursing school.

The third storyline is Ella’s best friend Billie, who learns to fly and becomes a member of the WASPS (Women Airforce Service Pilots) and experiences the joys and dangers of flying military planes all around the U.S.

The author did years of research and provided extensive notes referencing the actual people and events that make up this story. This book is an impressive labor of love and reading it provided new insights into the war, but I felt there were several individual stories packed into one rather extensive book and perhaps a trilogy would have been easier on readers.

I received a free eARC for my voluntary honest review from NetGalley. I am very happy to have read this book, but it is lengthy.

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