Of all the desperate women in German-occupied Paris, Gabriela Reyes is the least likely to scratch out her survival as a whore for a Gestapo agent. After fascists murdered her mother and brother and tortured her father in an insane asylum, she hates the Germans as much as she fears them. But when she discovers the man responsible for destroying her family, she decides to become his mistress to try to free her father and avenge her family. Helmut von Cratz is a war profiteer using his wealth to undermine the Third Reich and is one meeting with an American agent away from ending the German occupation of France. But Gabriela's sudden appearance as Colonel Hoekman's mistress jeopardizes Helmut's careful plans. Now he must decide: Will he abandon his plans, or will he sacrifice yet another woman to the German war machine?
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I always enjoy listing to a good audiobook, even more when I can learn something at the same time, as one often does listening to historical fiction. The Red Rooster is a perfect example of a just-right blend of great story-telling that also lets you learn about a period in history... what daily life might have been like for people in German-occupied France - and how normal, every-day people rose to do heroic actions when faced with horrific circumstances.
The cruelty of the Nazis to Jewish populations is very well-known, but this book tells more of the story, of what life was like in occupied France; how terribly difficult it was for everyone (outside of the Nazi party and soldiers), and how the human spirit is so incredibly resilient that it can rise above even the worst situations.
The character development is outstanding; multiple story-lines all very interesting, and how they all fit together in a complex web made a very powerful and moving story. I have read several books by this author, and have always been impressed by excellent writing, making me never want to put down his books until I reach the end... and then I'm sad that it is finished!
The narrator did an AMAZING job with this audio-book. She excellently portrays multiple characters with a variety of very well-done foreign accents and voices - really outstanding!
This is a gritty, well told story of a young woman whose mother and brother have been murdered by fascists, and whose father has been taken off to an insane hospital to be tortured. In Nazi-occupied Paris, Gabriela, and many other young war refugees are forced to make a living by any means possible . . . but for Gaby, the choice to become a whore is not just so she can eat . . . but also to find the man who has destroyed her family and who can lead her to her father. Gaby speaks fluent French and passes as a French girl . . . and in the upscale night club, no one suspects that she is really from Spain . . . she sticks to washing dishes, refusing to prostitute herself, until she sees the high ranking officer in the dining room . . . the one who destroyed her family . . . Her friend, Christine, already sleeping with the Germans, tells Gabriela, you have to tell yourself, it's just sex. This audio book is different in many ways than other WWII stories. It's a different perspective on the war, with some of the same issues included. Some of the ordinary German people who rooted for Germany to win the war surprised me. Those people, though, were never for eliminating the Jews or for the radicalization or superior white race propaganda. The extent of the war, that it spilled over into so many other countries, including Spain, still amazes me. And the corrupt nature of war, by all involved, even those on the side of GOOD, haunts me. The Red Rooster makes you think, makes you sad, makes you angry, and makes you realize that pure evil exists. It will also make you think long and hard about judging another human being over the choices they make. There's a reason that is best left to the Lord.
- Debbie "Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper."