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Book review: A.L. Sowards' debut novel, 'Espionage,' is an action-packed ride that stays true to history

By Branden Hurst

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, May 19 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"ESPIONAGE," by A.L. Sowards, Covenant Communications, $15.99, 242 pages (f)

After exceeding expectations that he would come back alive from his first commando mission during World War II in Europe, Peter Eddy is rewarded by a mission more daunting than recovering a code book the Nazis stole.

With French Resistance leader Jacques Olivier, they must figure out which of the three Allied contacts is a double agent and using the double agent to implement a plan that could help win the war. But treachery comes from unlikely people and discovering the truth — and forgiving those whose actions lead to deaths — can be difficult.

"Espionage," the debut novel of A.L. Sowards, is action-packed from page one and keeps this momentum throughout the entire book. Other elements like mystery, romance and suspense are woven throughout the book and add a layer of depth and credibility to the story.

There are Mormon themes also throughout the book as the main character, Eddy, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, must interact with others not of his faith as a soldier during World War II. These themes help the reader relate to the character on a personal level — regardless their own beliefs.

Another great aspect of the novel is the author's attention to historic detail, including factual references to generals, missions and descriptions of the era. Sowards also includes a section that explains the different ranks of the Nazi army. At first, the terms may seem distracting and confusing, but as readers gets familiar with them, it should not be a problem and readers may find themselves referring to the section regularly.

Sowards, a Brigham Young University graduate, was born in Georgia and grew up in Washington and currently lives along the Wasatch Front. She is very active in the blogging community and connecting with her fans. According to Sowards' website, alsowards.com, she doesn't print profanity or sex in her books as her goals for writing are to be thrilling, clean and uplifting.

"Espionage" is a great book that will entertain a wide audience of readers and hopefully marks the beginning of a long career for this author.

Branden Hurst is a proud father of four who grew up outside of Utah — and the LDS faith. He has worked in the IT industry for over 14 years, but in his free time enjoys sharing in wholesome activities with his family and

working on genealogy.

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