Friday, December 1, 2017

Review for The Silver Mosaic by Michael McMenamin & Patrick McMenamin

The Silver Mosaic
By Michael McMenamin & Patrick McMenamin
A Winston Churchhill 1930’s Thriller

Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Genre: Historical Thriller
Length: 417 Pages
ISBN: 978-1506904504
ASIN: B07488SY3Z



March, 1933. The weak German economy is in peril. Winston Churchill wants to push it over the cliff with a boycott of German exports and take with it the new Nazi government whose brown-shirt SA thugs are terrorizing German Jews. He enlists Hearst journalist Mattie McGary, but the Nazis are determined to fight back. To oppose the boycott, they find unlikely allies in the Jews of Palestine and FDR. 

A fan of World War II fiction and non-fiction, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of The Silver Mosaic by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin.  A historical thriller featuring Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolph Hitler, and many of his minions, would no doubt be full of twists and turns, spies, action and even promised a touch of romance.  While this book does provide all of that, it also provides a serious look at antisemitism, misogyny, immorality and good old fashioned hatred.

The authors do a good job introducing the primary characters, Mattie McGary, a photojournalist working for Hearst Publications, and her fiancée Bourke Cockran, an ex-Army intelligence officer, running for political office.  While I liked both Mattie and Bourke, and agreed with them on their political and social agendas, I’m not sure that their “lifestyle” was realistic for the time period.  Mattie was occasionally a little bit too much of a “liberated modern woman” (to the point of living with her fiancée) and occasionally a little too stupid to have gotten herself into the situations she found herself.  On the other hand, Bourke, was a little too lucky and occasionally a little too unbelievable.

While I had hoped to see more of the characters who would become the leaders of the Allied Forces, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, the authors are true to their political behavior and personal agendas.  I have to admit that while Winston Churchill had his issues, I liked him, and the author’s portrayal of him, better than that of Franklin Roosevelt who definitely came off as anti-Semitic, opportunistic and isolationist.  He even seemed to think his political office was more of dictatorship type situation in this book than the office is in real life. 

The villains of the book- Adolph Hitler, Hermann Goring and Reinhard Heydrich, are petty, rude, and completely without any redeemable qualities.  There are a lot of “hot” button issues with them and their behavior in this book; rape, violence, antisemitism, and breaking every decent human being who would stand in their way.  Unfortunately there are also quite a few American agents involved in this story who are just as bad! 

The story takes several twists and turns and has a fairly rapid pace.  While the authors have a good voice and know how to keep the action turning, the plot is somewhat unbelievable.  Something that was one of the biggest issues for me.  Though I also had issues with the amount of swearing and sex, which was quite prevalent.

Overall, this is an interesting look at Pre-World War II Europe and about the early behavior of Adolph Hitler and his minions as they took control of Germany and prepared to ready themselves for war.  The authors make it very clear that Germany needed to ramp up their weapons manufacturing in order to follow through with Hitler’s plans for world domination and how they had to take money by hook or crook. 

Will Mattie and Bourke be able to outwit Adolph Hitler and his minions?  Will Winston Churchill be able to guide his country through the war he clearly sees coming in the near future?  And will Franklin Roosevelt be able to keep the US from entering the coming war?  You’ll have to read The Silver Mosaic to find out. 

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review.  My review is my opinion, and my opinion alone, of the reading material provided.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. We appreciate it. BTW, Bourke is not running for office. Mattie would divorce him if he did. His father ( a real person who had no children) was the politician, a 7-term Congressman from NYC.

    As for FDR, he wasn't so much an isolationist then than a free-trader unlike like the protectionist Republicans. FDR's opposition to the boycott was based on a genuine concern that American investors and the U.S. economy would be damaged if the German economy tanked. Knowing that, we couldn't resist using the 'Catholics/Jews here at our sufferance' quote when he was trying to talk Cockran and Rabbi SIlver into abandoning the boycott, I expect your 'dictator' comment was based on our having FDR send the IRS after Rabbi SIlver. Sadly, FDR did do that to selected political enemies just as did Nixon.

    BTW, Mattie wants you to know that she lives on her own most of the time because she is on assignment living out of a suitcase. When she is in New York, she does live in both of Cockran's houses but with a live-in chaperone, i.e.,Cockran's mother-in-law from Ireland, Mary Morrisey (a devout Catholic). In deference to her, they have separate bedrooms. And regardless of where Mattie spends the night, the bedcovers in her room always look slept in. Where they sleep when they travel together is another story. In Cleveland, for example, they did have separate hotel rooms because Cockran's son Patrick was with them. Ditto for Scotland in the days before their marriage.

    And Mary Morrisey, like Churchill, can't understand why Cockran took so long to propose and marry Mattie. We explain all that in the first three books in the series.

    Finally, I (Michael) appreciate your comments on Goring being 'completely without any redeemable qualities'.
    I do the first draft of all the Nazi villain chapters and Patrick complains from time to time that I make Goring seem too likable. I don't think I do, but it's nice to have someone else agree.

    Again, thanks very much for the review.
    Michael & Patrick