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January 28, 2017

NAZI SABOTEURS ON THE BAYOU by Steven Burgauer





NAZI SABOTEURS
ON THE BAYOU
by
Steven Burgauer



Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou intertwines historic persons, actual events and distant locales of World War II with a fast-moving fictional Nazi plot to disrupt the manufacture of Higgins boats, the remarkable landing craft that won the war for the Allies. Spanning the globe from amphibious landings at Guadalcanal, to the Navajo code talker school, to the exotic environs of New Orleans, to the secret world of Bletchley Park, this tautly written thriller, covering two weeks during the summer of 1942, combines a fully imagined cast of characters with the historically important figures of Andrew Higgins, members of American and British Intelligence, Navajo code talker Chester Nez, Commander Ian Fleming of MI6, along with a Polish intelligence officer, and “Silver Dollar Sam” Carolla, crime boss of New Orleans.

An old German is found dead in a New Orleans whorehouse. Sewn into the lining of the dead man’s vest is a notebook filled with hand-drawn maps and notes about the comings and goings at military installations. German conspirators fret that their local contact (the dead German) is overdue. Mafia crime boss Nico Carolla, is soon drawn into the disposition of the corpse.

We move to the Pacific and meet the grandson of the dead German, PFC Brock, a U.S. Marine being trained for the landings at Guadalcanal. Then we meet Andrew Jackson Higgins at the helm of the single most important landing craft ever built, the Higgins Boat, the steel-ramped landing craft that brought American troops to Pacific islands and to Normandy. In his colorful manner, Higgins is instructing a class of Coast Guard newbies on how to properly drive and operate his nearly indestructible boat. Higgins faces shortages of materials, manpower, and factory space. The Mafia boss controls much of the labor supply. Accommodations must be made to placate the mob family, who also have Old World connections in critical to the upcoming North African landings.

The Waffen-SS officers charged with sabotaging the Higgins Boat plant arrive, only to learn of the loss of the intelligence gathered by the dead German. Now enter the code breakers at Bletchley Park who intercept the commando team’s messages, including one female mathematician through whose eyes we see inside Bletchley Park.

America is almost entirely dependent on Britain’s MI6 for intelligence gathering. We meet Martina Amerada, a Cuban woman with a high-level banking responsibility, including ties to British intelligence, and who is Nico Carolla’s mistress. Martina moves money for the crime family and provides diplomatic cover between the Palermo branch of the family and the planners of Operation Torch. We are also introduced to the Navajo code-talker program essential to securing Marine Corps messages in the Pacific theater.

The German commando team searches for the lost notebook by visiting the whorehouses Brock has been known to frequent, which leads to a murder and later retaliation by the Mafia against the German conspirators. Half the German commando team perishes. US marshals are drawn into the story as bodies are discovered in the nearby bayous. The Mafia is suspected. When the marshals confront Carolla, the marshals are put on the trail of the commandos which leads to the death of the marshals.

Bletchley Park is busy trying to crack the code embedded in the Himmler messages, We move back to the Pacific where grandson Brock is involved in the bloody landings ahead of Guadalcanal. Brock is wounded and nearly dies as the remaining commando attempts to demolish the largest Higgins Boat manufacturing facility in New Orleans. With the help of British intelligence, Nico Carolla prevents the plant from being destroyed and thus becomes the hero of the story.

Operation Torch gets underway and the Higgins boats prove their indispensability to the war effort. PFC Brock recovers from his wounds, and Martina takes possession of all intelligence related to the German commandos so the threat never becomes public knowledge.
 
 
Published November 11th 2016 by Battleground Press
ISBN 0692808124 (ISBN13: 9780692808122)
Edition Language English
 
AUTHOR
Avid hiker, Eagle Scout, and founder of a mutual fund, Steven Burgauer resides in Florida. A graduate of Illinois State University and the New York Institute of Finance, Steve writes science fiction and historic fiction. A member of the Society of Midland Authors, Steven is included in The Dictionary of Midwestern Literature, Volume 2: Dimensions of the Midwestern Literary Imagination and the ALA’s Librarian’s Guide to Cyborgs, Aliens, and Sorcerers by Derek M. Buker.

Burgauer’s The Road to War: Duty & Drill, Courage & Capture is based on the journals of an American WWII infantryman who landed at Normandy, was wounded and taken prisoner by the Nazis. Publishers Daily Reviews says of it: Five-plus unequivocal stars . . . an extraordinary read that everyone should enjoy.

Some of his SF titles include The Grandfather Paradox, The Railguns of Luna, The Fornax Drive, and SKULLCAP. Other books of his include The Night of the Eleventh Sun, a Neanderthal’s first encounter with man, and The Wealth Builder’s Guide: An Investment Primer. Steven contributed to the zany, serial mystery, Naked Came the Farmer, headlined by Philip Jose Farmer.

His work has been reviewed in many places, including LOCUS, the EUREKA LITERARY MAGAZINE, PUBLISHERS DAILY REVIEWS, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW, THE BOOK REVIEWERS, BOOKVIRAL, and PROMETHEUS, the journal of the Libertarian Futurist Society. Science Fiction Chronicle (June 2001) says of his The Railguns of Luna: Steven Burgauer writes old style science fiction in which heroes and villains are easily identified, the action is fast and furious, and the plot twists and turns uncontrollably . . . This is action adventure written straight-forwardly and not meant to be heavily literary or provide pithy commentary on the state of humanity.

Of his book Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou, The Book Reviewers write: “An engaging, slow-burning wartime thriller with an epic feel and a large cast of characters.” Midwest Book Review writes: “In a war that rips apart entire worlds, who can truly be the winner? Add a dash of romance to the intrigue for a solid World War II thriller that’s intricate, frighteningly realistic, and hard to put down.”

When Steven lived in Illinois, the State of Illinois Library included him in a select group of authors invited to the state’s Authors’ Day. He has often been a speaker and panel member at public library events and science-fiction conventions all across the country.

His websites are:
http://sites.google.com/site/stevenbu...
http://midlandauthors.com/burgauer.html
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...
https://www.undergroundbookreviews.or...
https://www.facebook.com/TheRoadToWar...
 
 
 
MY THOUGHTS:
Does anyone win in a war?   Here we have a story that touches the fine line between fiction and fact.  The setting is 1942 in New Orleans, where boats are being manufactured for the military. This is where the story starts, a quiet and peaceful setting, but not for long.  The story goes from New Orleans to the South Pacific and farther. The author not only describes the scenes vividly but goes a step beyond and takes the reader right into the scenes, aboard ships and straight into the action.  You are no longer the "reader" you are there.World War II is part of this story and it becomes so realistic, that the fine line between fact and fiction is easy to cross. The author gives so much details to the characters that you feel you know them. As you read the story you are filled with many emotions. Your heart will ache, there will be heroes, courage, death, prostitutes, mobsters, a Navajo Indian, PFC Stanley Whitehorse who helped bring about a code that couldn't be broken. Much research must have gone into this book.  A book of fiction based on facts. The reader will get a lot of history, not in a mundane way but in an entertaining, learning and interesting story.  This book is a book where the story comes alive for the reader.   It is fast paced but not so that you lose contact with the meaning and what is going on. No one can truly understand what takes place in war, perhaps not even those that fought in the war.  Unspeakable things take place that etch in the minds forever.    The facts that are stated in this book have been denied, still today, by the CIA.  I wonder if it was just the Nazis who were the spies?   What about the mob? Or perhaps others? This book isn't just a story, words on pages.  It becomes visual and I haven't read a lot of books that have given so much of that.   I learned so much from this book and if you are a history lover, WWII enthusiast or just love a good book, then don't let this one pass you by.  Yes, there is some romance too.
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Word Slinger Publicity and voluntarily decided to review it.
 
I would give this book 5 STARS. 
 





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