The Circumstantial Enemy by John Bell @JohnRichardBell #Review #Goodreads #AmReading #WW2 #Thriller

Book Review


Amazing! Hollywood could not have come up with a more fascinating and thrilling plot, and this story was based on the author’s grandfather!

The Circumstantial Enemy (Release Date: October 12th, 2017)

On the wrong side of war, there is more than one enemy…

When Croatia becomes a Nazi puppet state in 1941, carefree young pilot Tony Babic finds himself forcibly aligned with Hitler’s Luftwaffe. Unbeknownst to Tony, his sweetheart Katarina and best friend Goran have taken the side of the opposing communist partisans. The threesome are soon to discover that love and friendship will not circumvent this war’s ideals.

Downed by the Allies in the Adriatic Sea, Tony survives a harrowing convalescence in deplorable Italian hospitals and North African detention stockades. His next destination is Camp Graham in Illinois, one of four hundred prisoner of war camps on American soil.

But with the demise of the Third Reich, repatriation presents a new challenge. What kind of life awaits Tony under communist rule? Will he be persecuted as an enemy of the state for taking the side of Hitler? And then there is Katarina; in letters she confesses her love, but not her deceit… Does her heart still belong to him?

Based on a true story, John Richard Bell’s The Circumstantial Enemy is an energetic journey to freedom through minefields of hatred, betrayal, lust and revenge. Rich in incident with interludes of rollicking humour, it’s a story about the strength of the human spirit, and the power of friendship, love and forgiveness.

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My Thoughts…

Let’s be honest, WW2 thrillers are a dime a dozen now, so it’s very difficult to come across a story that hasn’t been told before. The same goes for the movie industry except the story almost always goes like this, “Americans saved the day and Germans are evil.” That’s why I was intrigued by Bell’s story. Yes, the fact that it happened to his grandfather makes it particularly interesting, but also because it shows us another angle of the war. Something different.

Honestly, Hollywood could not have come up with a better plot than this incredible story. It’s gritty, real and at times, shocking. But as they say, truth is stranger than fiction and in this case the truth slaps you in the face and is often difficult to read.

‘The Circumstantial Enemy’ is written very well and you will feel invested in the characters immediately! Especially ‘Tony’. I really enjoyed it and I’m thankful for the opportunity to read such an enthralling story.

If you enjoy war stories but are looking for something unique, then I strongly recommend you give this one a read. Fair warning, it’s hard to read sometimes and the subject matter is not for the faint of heart.

Rating… A

Amazon US

Amazon UK

About the Author


John Richard Bell was born in Chigwell, UK and now resides in Vancouver, Canada. Before becoming an author of business books and historical fiction, he was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and a global strategy consultant. A prolific blogger, John’s musings on strategy, leadership and branding have appeared in various journals such as FortuneForbes and

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