ABOUT THE BOOK"The story is brilliantly executed . . . Nath’s biggest success is the sustained atmospheric tension that he creates somewhat effortlessly."
- Little Interpretations
"A haunting and bittersweet novel that stays with you long after the final chapter – always the sign of a really well-written and praiseworthy story. It would also make an excellent screenplay."
- Historical Novels Review - Editor's Choice, Feb 2011
Nazi occupied Aquitaine, 1943: A young woman is found murdered in the shadow of the Bergerac Prefecture. Auguste Ran, Assistant Chief of Police, suspects Brunner, a German Security Police Major, of the crime. The more Auguste investigates, the more obsessed he becomes with bringing down the seemingly untouchable Brunner.
Auguste begins to realise he has been conveniently ignoring the Nazi atrocities going on around him, and understands too late the human cost of his own participation in the internment of the local Jewish population.
Driven by conscience and struggling with his Catholic religious beliefs, his actions start to put his own family at risk. Harbouring the daughter of his lifelong Jewish friend Pierre, they are forced into a desperate trek towards neighbouring Switzerland, pursued all the way by the German Sicherheitspolizei.
The Cyclist is the first in Fredrik Nath's series of World War 2 novels. The adventures continue in Farewell Bergerac, Francesca Pascal. Find out more about The Cyclist and Fredrik Nath's other holocaust novels in his 3D author room.
The Cyclist and an Inspiration
The early morning sunlight flickered from behind the high clouds and reflected golden and crisp from the monument in Bergerac’s market square. Around me, shoppers bustled and in the roadway a car beeped its horn. The grey stone pillar rose fifteen feet above me, its shadow pointing away towards the elm trees that line the roadway. A smell of garlic wafted as I read those brave words that showed the strength of the French and France’s indomitable leaders. The monument was a reminder of the valour and sacrifice of those brave local partisans who gave up their lives in the struggle against the occupying Nazi forces all those years ago.
Yes, it is moving. Surely there’s a story here.
In my head a story began to form. What would it have been like to have to make the choices needed to protect oneself and one’s family yet still remain French? The main character would need to do something admirable. He would need to depart from the norm. If you became a partisan you would endanger the people nearest you. What if you were caught?
I began to think of how it would be to be the one who is rounding up the local Jewish people. Would you hate it? Of course you would, even if you were forced to it for fear of endangering your family. For a religious man it would be even harder. Surely one would do anything to avoid such ‘duties’ if you had a conscience?
The story began to form. A Vichy French policeman, a man of conscience, a family man working with evil Nazis whom he secretly hated. I created Auguste Ran, a good policeman, but in essence weak, until a certain event tips him over the edge and slowly he begins to fight back.
That’s where The Cyclist came from and it was my springboard for the other books in my French resistance series. Each takes a character and makes life hard for them, allowing them to become. In the end, THE CYCLIST sold 30,000 copies. It was Editor’s choice in the Historical Novel Review in 2011.
You can catch all six books on Amazon: a policeman, a teacher, an artist, a chef, a philosopher and in THE PROMISE a medical student.
The Promise is the last and most recent of the series. Jean Valois, a medical student before the war, swears to his sister he will protect her. But in war, who can keep such promises? Trained to kill by SOE, in a desperate bid to save his sister Rebecca, he undertakes a mission deep into enemy-occupied Poland, risking all for the sake of a promise made long ago. A story of love, war, hatred and revenge, The Promise tells a tale of courage and staunchness.
If you like drama and character-based plots check them out!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fred Nath is a full time Neurosurgeon. Fred was born in Sweden and brought up in London and has worked in Liverpool, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow in his training (a long, long time ago). He lives in the northeast of England with his teenage daughter, his three sons having grown up and flown the coop.
In his time, he has run twenty-four Great North Run half-marathons (22 consecutive), trekked Island Peak, to 6000m in Nepal, crossed the highest mountain pass in the world (also in Nepal) [which you can see on You-tube],done a 12,000ft tandem parachute jump and began writing, like John Buchan, "because he ran out of penny-novels to read and felt he should write his own." Fred loves a good story, which is why he writes.
To date, his published works include: five French resistance thrillers, three books in the Galdir series and the first instalment of a four book series 'Amulet' has recently appeared in print - all published by Fingerpress publishers.
Galdir 4 is on the way and this year Amulet 2 will come out.
How does he find time to write? Get up a bit earlier and go to bed a bit later - sleep makes you unproductive!
He also loves the Dordogne, French wine and a good family getogether!
Questions? He's happy to hear from any of his readers.
Reach Fred at: firstname.lastname@example.org or at his Website.
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