Up In Honey's Room, by Elmore Leonard

Set in WW2 in America; Honey has left Walter, her ex-patriot German husband, and doesn't have any particular interest in him, but then Carl Webster, the "Hot Kid", turns up on the trail of a couple of escaped German POWS who he suspects Walter of harbouring.

I hadn't realised this was set in the 1940's, and that did put me off a bit, but in fact it's a great read. Leonard on his usual excellent form - another book that's just fun to read with an array of characters who are all pulling the story in different ways - there's what Sandford would call a "twang" between Carl and Honey, there's a female spy, a transvestite ex-prison guard, Honey's small-time crook of a brother, not to mention the POWs. Walter bears a resemblance to Heinrich Himmler and believes they were twins who were separated at birth

"Tell him he looks like Himmler," Honey said, "Walter nods, lowers his head and says, 'Thank you.'"

I seem to have read a lot of books set in WW2 this year, but I hadn't expected one by Leonard. But it's an interesting perspective - I hadn't realised that there had been so many German POWs had interned in Canada (although I probably should have - Tony mentioned this in relation to his father's story). And for the Americans, the war was a bit remote, the main effect being to drive the black-market, given that so much food was being sent to help the allies in Europe.

There are various stories about what Carl got up to to earn his reputation and nickname, which make me want to read The Hot Kid (I'm assuming that's about Carl at any rate). I have the book but had assumed it was a cowboy one so hadn't rushed to read it.

Anyway, this was well worth it (although there's been a space of a couple of weeks/books since I read it, so the review probably doesn't do it justice).

Completed : 09-Nov-2009

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