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All shall be well


Written by Richard Essberger


In 1938 Mary, a young Englishwoman in London, meets Josef, an anti-Nazi Austrian refugee who has escaped from Vienna to Prague. They fall in love.

Josef, unknowingly, carries a deadly secret. In 1934, during the Austrian Civil War, as a member of the Schutzbund, the Austrian Social Democrat’s paramilitaries, he had witnessed in the Vienna Woods a young Englishman taking orders from a Soviet NKVD general.

After the German invasion of Austria in 1938 he is betrayed to the Gestapo (by his own mother, no less) as a member of the underground. He escapes by night, on foot, across the border to Prague. Then, after the Munich Agreement, with the Nazi grip tightening on Czechoslovakia, he escapes again by train and ferry via Poland to London, assisted by the Quakers and Czech military intelligence (who soon thereafter helped set up the famous Kindertransport rescue trains).

In 1940 Josef is interned and shipped to Canada, despite MI5 – for whom he is working – trying to prevent this. Letters in both directions take three months and both are wracked by doubt… ‘Has he survived the U-boats?’ ‘Has she survived the bombs?’ ‘Does he, does she, still love me?’ Released, Josef returns in early 1941 to London in the middle of the Blitz. Soon, in Brixton, they marry.

For the third time he joins the Czech Army and is later trained by SOE. But then, out of the blue, his ‘unknown’ secret catches up with him. In MI5’s wartime headquarters in Blenheim Palace he sees the man he first saw in 1934 in the Vienna Woods. Yet neither his MI5 controller nor, at first, Mary, believes him when he says this man, Philby, is a Communist.

In 1950 Josef takes Mary and their daughter by train – the Arlberg Express – to meet his family in Vienna, where Russia is one of the four allied occupying powers. At Semmering, in the Alps, an NKVD lieutenant and Red army soldiers attempt to drag him off the train…

But that’s enough, let’s not give the ending away. Not least because it’s hard to know what to make of it, readers will make up their own minds.

£15.99  ( + postage and packaging )

To order from the publishers – please call Quacks Books on 01904 635967 or email design@quacks.info

ISBN ( Paperback ) : 978-1-912-728-66-4

ISBN ( E-Book ): 978-1-912-728-67-1 ( Please order direct from the publishers )