5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read. Cracking pace., 6 April 2015

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Christina (London) –
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Christoph Fischer is a skilled and accomplished story teller. He maintains a cracking pace. He has clearly researched his subject matter well. It is admirable how Fischer gets to grips with a complex set of political intrigues but yet keeps it simple and never descends into turgidity.

As a Finn myself with a keen interest in history, I waited for the author to trip up on fact. However, he never did. This is a feat, as many books have strange ideas about Finland.

My interest was driven by the Finnish Civil War of circa 1917. I was impressed the novel also covers the Winter War, the Continuation War and touches on the interests of Denmark and Estonia viz a vis Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany.

The political intrigues and the characters different ideological viewpoints are well-handled.

Not quite Booker Winner material, but nonetheless Fischer does an excellent job in distilling the macro into the micro. This talent could be compared to Kazuo Ishiguro’s gift of “writing in the miniature”. It does need to be developed, though as some parts of the plot are thin.

I am not a great fan of “love interest” situations and the character Raisa almost fell into the danger of being somewhat two-dimensional, slightly redeemed as the book went on.

The relationship between main protagonists Zacharias and Ansgar is portrayed beautifully. Ansgar’s tale is a particular horror story all the more for it being one true of Nazi occupied Denmark and its collaborators.

The depiction of the ideologist Holgar Beck is also poignant.

Excellent read, cracking pace.




In 1918 young Zacharias Nielsen boards a ship in Copenhagen to join the Red Guards in the Finnish Civil War.Encouraged by an idolised teacher with communist leanings, he follows the call for help from his Nordic Comrades, despite his privileged background.

His best friend, Ansgar, has opposing political ideals to Zacharias but, for his own personal reasons, finds himself soon stuck in the Scandinavian North with Zacharias and Raisa, a Finnish nurse who helps them in their new life.

Through the years that follow the brotherly war the trio see the political landscape in Finland and Europe change as Communists and Fascists try to make their mark and attempt to change the world order.

Our heroes must find their own personal and ideological place in these turbulent times as friendship, honour, idealism and love triangles bring out some personal truths.

The book spans almost thirty years of history and the various Finnish conflicts: Civil War, Winter War, Continuation War and the Lapland War. Watch the political and personal self discovery of characters in search of their own revolution.






CHRISTOPH FISCHER christoph-fischer

Short Biography:

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. “Time To Let Go” , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

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