I am glad to present my review of “Dark September” by Brendan Gerad O’Brien, who you might remember from my Welsh Wednesdays Interview.
I hesitated to read this book because it is about the bleak scenario of a ‘what if’ Hitler had won the war.
Here, the Uk and Wales in particular are invaded by the Nazis.
The idea is not new, admittedly. Many an alternate history book have tried to imagine the harsh reality of such a scenario.
O’Brien’s novel stands out because of his understated approach. Instead of going over the top and creating a futuristic fantasy, he paints in more realistic tones and stays within the more serious parameters of actual historical fiction. This makes the book all the more effective and dark.
The pace is perfect, too. I will remember this for times to come.
Brendan Gerad O’Brien was born in Tralee, on the west coast of Ireland and now lives in Wales with his wife Jennifer and daughters Shelly and Sarah.
As a child he spent his summer holidays in Listowel, Co Kerry, where his uncle Moss Scanlon had a Harness maker’s shop, which, sadly, is long gone now.
The shop was a magnet for all sorts of colourful characters. It was there that Brendan’s love of words was kindled by the stories of John B. Keane and Bryan MacMahon, who often wandered in for a chat and bit of jovial banter.
Most of the ideas for the stories in the collection Dreamin’ Dreams originated there, and some are based on actual real character – though Brendan would never admit it, simply because he couldn’t afford the ensuing litigation …
Dark September is a thriller set in Wales during WW2.
Gallows Field is a thriller set in Ireland during WW2.