Ryan Lemmon, a former US State Department staffer turned OSS spy, tries
to get his lover, Erika Kredow and her son, Leo, out of the clutches of her
Gestapo husband, the evil Horst von Kredow, but things go horribly wrong.
Rene Gershinger, a Franco-German who leads a resistance movement against the
Nazis, helps Erika and Leo get to France, thinking Ryan has been killed in the
operation. They leave Kredow wounded and his face disfigured – but nursing an
obsessive desire for vengeance.
Beacon of Vengeance: A Novel of Nazi Germany by Patrick W. O’Bryon is the
second in a trilogy of Lemmon’s adventures during World War II. This story,
which covers the period 1938 to 1941 and is set primarily in occupied France.
O’Bryon has created a remarkable cast of believable characters and placed them
in a setting that seamlessly melds his fictional characters with the events and real
characters of the era. His descriptions are colorful without being overdone, and
he gives the reader just enough to make the sounds, smells, sights – and fears –
come alive. Reading this epic adventure, one can imagine that the conversations
with Reinhard Heydrich and William Donovan actually took place.
What O’Bryon has done particularly well in Beacon of Vengeance is show the
inhuman cruelty of the Nazis, while still portraying them as humans – flawed, but
I give this book a resounding five stars.