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Derek Hart

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Tangles of Truth
by Derek Hart   

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Books by Derek Hart
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Historical Fiction

Publisher:  iUniverse ISBN-10:  0595222536 Type: 


Copyright:  Feb 19 2002

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During WWII, in North Africa, German officer and Italian nurse fall in love. Sadistic SS officer kidnaps her and chase ensues across the Egyptian desert, climaxing in battle over ancient ruins of lost civilization. Here they discover unspeakable horror unleashed by Hitler’s rise to power, mixing fantasy and adventure.

Oberleutnant Rolf Leutnart is a German staff officer with the famed Afrika Korps and is General Erwin Rommel’s favorite interpreter, fluent in Italian, French, and English. Leutnart is immediately assigned as the primary translator for the Italian and German senior officers. While in Tunisia, Rolf meets and falls in love with Lorena Sebesta, an Italian Red Cross nurse. For her, however, the attraction is difficult, since she despises uniforms and especially Germans. However, the relationship grows and soon develops into a torrid love affair. As the tide of the desert war turns in favor of the vaunted Afrika Korps, Rolf distinguishes himself in battle, turning back a British breakthrough with his leadership. He is awarded the Iron Cross and also meets Lorena’s brother, Major Antonio Sebesta, who commands an Italian commando unit. Their friendship and professional regard for each other’s skills, leads Leutnart to propose a small, highly maneuverable special unit for reconnaissance, which is approved by Rommel. At about this time, Rolf is approached by several shadowy figures who hint at things more sinister and possibly supernatural in Rolf’s background. He is tied to a birthmark in the shape of a wolf’s head, a secret society known only as the Red Pyramid, and an ancient curse from Egypt that has awaited his arrival for 5,000 years. 

Professional Reviews

4 Rose Romance
Long ago Pharaoh Aha Menes united the two kingdoms of Egypt, though first he had to conquer the evil serpent-god Apep and his shape-changing priestess Nefastani, whose one weakness was a warrior for whom she had long and jealously lusted. But Assiout loved the beautiful Rena, despite the divisions and doubts Nefastani had sown between them, and barely paused in the swing that severed her head. Unfortunately, evil cannot be so easily destroyed, though it was centuries before there arose an evil great enough to rouse Nefastani and her snake-god from their slumber.

Among Hitler’s Third Reich forces is Rolf Leutnart, an interpreter born of an Austrian father and an Italian mother, an enthusiastic student of archaeology and ancient history who has managed to get assigned to the Afrika Korps under General Irwin Rommel. In Tripoli, he meets and recognizes his destiny in Red Cross nurse Lorena Sebesta, a widow who has no use for war or warriors. Until Rolf. Fight it though she may, she cannot resist the powerful attraction between them, the kindness and wit she sees in him, no matter the uniform he wears. Against the backdrop of the battles for supremacy in North Africa, Rolf pursues his nurse, becomes invaluable to his general and in the process, an unintentional hero. Still, no amount of acclaim will reconcile Lorena to who and what he stands for and, in the end, he decides that having her is worth anything, including desertion. But their flight for freedom is fraught with sadistic SS, ancient curses, sandstorms, reborn malevolence, heat and thirst, and the malignant Nefastani, who is still bent on getting him and on ending the world. Not necessarily in that order.

Wonderfully rich in characters and description, this tale drags you into the arid world of the African desert, its people and its hardships, painting a realistic and brutal picture that will keep you turning pages until the very last. Between Rolf’s varied adventures in interpretation and his desperately steamy love affair, the rigors of combat and the resurgence of ancient evil, there is little left to desire. Mr. Hart’s presentation of the legendary Rommel is quirky but accurate, an irresistible fillip to his narrative of daring-do and desperate struggle against the evil of madmen and the madness of true evil. Few have limned a menace to turn the stomach, nor conceived so loathsome yet fascinating a Bad Guy as the repulsively seductive, ruthlessly bloodthirsty Nefastani. The nice blending of themes makes for a gratifying suspense and an uncommon wartime romance, to which he adds a fine empathy, not alone for the lovers, but for much of the supporting cast. Whether you like a little goo with your romance, a little romance with your action, or a little action with your ooze, Tangles of Truth is bound to satisfy.

Kaththea Spurlock

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Reader Reviews for "Tangles of Truth"

Reviewed by DBurke 10/19/2001
This is a book that is in concept a masterpiece of thought, written down in a way that makes you wonder where fantasy ends and fact begins. I love it.
Like a movie about time travel, this puts into action the what if's.
This could have happened.
One must be careful when reading this book. If you do not know history, this book may rewrite it!

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