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Rise of the Maquis-bookcover

By: Charles.G. Fournel

Rise of the Maquis

Pages: 174 Ratings: 4.0
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With Europe in turmoil due to the tyrannical reign of Germany, a small group of brave resistance soldiers fight from the inside to save France from being taken over completely. Together, this ragtag group of individuals, including an English SOE, band together to form an alliance; this band of brothers is a family thrown together through necessity. Hiding in plain sight, they form a bond that no one, not even Hitler, can break. They even have the support of Pablo Picasso, but will it be enough to get through the war unscathed? With their black-market supplies and procured weapons at the ready, these men and women will fight for their country, for their freedom and for their lives.

Charles grew up in a small seaside town in Suffolk, England. He is divorced and devoted father of two. He started writing short stories at the age of ten and has since expanded his genre to World War II. He has family connections in both the Allies and Axis during the war. This is the reason for his extended interest in that era. He has grown to have great respect for resistance groups who, without any military experience, took up arms for their country.

Customer Reviews
1 reviews
1 reviews
  • Carol Weishampel

    The author of Rise of the Maquis, Charles.G.Fournel, is an English writer whose vocabulary usage and writing style adds a deal of authenticity to this novel about World War II.. Fournel has a family interest in World War II, especially with the resistance groups. His deep interest in the war allows him to write a painstakingly realistic detailed plot. In addition, his meticulously researched weapons add even more authenticity.

    Fournel’s primary character is an Englishman who uses an alias, Corporal James Garner. James was assigned the position of Special Operations Executive in the Royal British Armed Forces in World War II. He and two others were parachuted into France. After the deaths of his two comrades, James, in disguise, found his way into Paris to join up with a secret underground resistance group of Frenchmen. With no experience with the French language, he is slowly received into the group, and his loyalty is tested in minor but dangerous operations.

    James explains his willingness to aid the resisters because his comrades are dead, his first assignment fulfilled, and the British military is unable to extract him. He is now working for French freedom and to kill as many Germans as he can. One of his first assignments was to break into a German warehouse where Pablo Picasso had information that stolen Jewish treasures were being hidden. Under the fascist regime, the Jews were not considered human and were not allowed to own property. After a short firefight, they discovered mountains of clothes, multiple shelves stacked with silver, piles of leatherbound books, boxes of jewellery, wooden barrels full of gold teeth, and countless paintings. After the war, an attempt would be made to return goods to the rightful owners.

    Many of the characters in the novel are historical icons and accurately portrayed. Others like the priest are unique characterizations. The priest explained that growing up, he thought he would be a priest or secret agent. So, he decided to become a “spook” hiding in plain sight. The author’s knowledge of authentic historical weapons is revealed in his description of “a German-made Bergman MP 18 submachine gun, it had a drum magazine fitted horizontally on the top and carried fifty rounds. This monster of a gun was capable of firing five hundred rounds a minute.”

    James becomes involved in several bloody and surreal undercover and covert guerrilla resistance strategies. As he gains the trust of other resistance forces, the individuals become like a family to him. He is constantly challenged by his lack of understanding of French and German and the secrecy within the underground. In time he becomes a hero in the civilian army.

    The story concludes with the Allied invasion of Normandy. With the war over, James must decide the next direction of his life. This book is recommended to readers who are interested in WWII history from a different perspective.

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