Liberated: A Novel of Germany, 1945
(Kaspar Brothers #2)
Can a lone American captain rescue justice in war-torn Germany?
It’s May 1945, the war’s just over, and Harry Kaspar, an American captain in Germany, is about to take a new posting in the US occupation—running a Bavarian town named Heimgau. When Harry loses the command to Major Membre, he’ll do almost anything to win the job back.
When Harry discovers a horrific scene—three German men tortured and murdered—he reckons that solving the crime could teach the conquered townspeople about American justice, as well as help him reclaim that better posting. The only problem is that Harry’s quest for the real killer will lead him straight back to his commander, Membre, and eventually to his mentor, a can-do rebel US colonel named Spanner. Spanner is a gangster run rampant, plundering the war-torn land for all its grim worth.
Harry’s lover, Katarina, a gutsy German actress, helps him realize he must fight back. Recognizing that absolute power corrupted and then destroyed Major Membre and Colonel Spanner, Harry takes it upon himself to overcome any obstacle that gets in his way and set a new American example by which a terrorized town and a mix of battered peoples can rise up from the ashes of a brutal, demoralizing war.
Reviewed in the May 2015 Historical Novels Review.
The Oregonian essay on the true tales behind Liberated: "Dodge City, Germany."
Blog post on the heart of the story: "The Wild West of Occupied Germany, 1945."
“Brilliant, frightening, and, for me, too reminiscent of my USO tour in 1945/6. Here is the compelling, always frightening reality of the unwanted conqueror, the American victor in enemy country, once homeland for many GIs—hated yet vital, trying to stay ahead of the dangers, violence, and corruption—and always the sour taste of combat or revenge lurking in every survivor on all sides. Steve Anderson has revealed the endgame of war, tinged with GI passion—a passion twisted to violence by so many who did not want to change.” —Maria Riva, author of Marlene Dietrich
"If you like reading about World War II, you will enjoy reading about its immediate aftermath. If you like the noir novels and films of the mid-20th century, you will enjoy the prose and the femme fatale of Liberated." —Historical Novels Review, Historical Novel Society
"A compelling story of a time in German history that hasn't been covered very much in fiction. Kudos to the author for a story that captures the feel of that era." —Jim Chambers, Amazon Top 10 Reviewer
"[Anderson] enhances our understanding of the 'pity of war' as well as anyone writing today. Highly Recommended."
—reviewer Grady Harp