Bill Carver. Damned if We Do. Andrews, NC: Mountain Voices Publishers, 2011.

In early 1945 Eric Keestler is a low-level German intelligence clerk who hopes to avoid being sent to fight the Soviets on the Eastern Front.  When he is called to a meeting that includes Hitler himself, he fears the worst.  He gets the worst, but it’s not what he expected.

The Germans know that America is building a powerful new weapon–the atomic bomb–and they want Eric and another soldier, Wilham Pfouskt, to disrupt the research facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  Eric realizes that he has been chosen for the mission because he is fluent in English and familiar with American culture through his work monitoring American radio broadcasts.  But why has Wilham been selected?  Wilham’s bearing and attitudes lead Eric to think that he is well bred and well connected, but as their mission progresses, Eric sees the darkness inside Wilham.  Within days of being dropped off on the North Carolina coast, Wilham jeopardizes the mission by his lust, greed, and cruelty.  On their journey to Oak Ridge Wilham leaves a trail of abuse and death across piedmont North Carolina and on to the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.  Even as World War II is coming to a close, so is Eric’s old life and his rosy view of human nature.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Carver, Bill, Mountains, Novels by Region, Piedmont

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