Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Silver Mosaic Review Tour

March, 1933. The weak German economy is in peril. Winston Churchill wants to push it over the cliff with a boycott of German exports and take with it the new Nazi government whose brown-shirt SA thugs are terrorizing German Jews. He enlists Hearst journalist Mattie McGary, but the Nazis are determined to fight back. To oppose the boycott, they find unlikely allies in the Jews of Palestine and FDR.

Though Churchill had been out of government office since 1929 when his last post as Chancellor of the Exchequer ended, he maintained a network of intelligence sources throughout Europe, including Germany, who kept him as well informed on developments there as the British Prime Minister or Foreign Secretary. From them, he knew that in the last two months, Germany literally had become a gangster nation. The police made no effort to interfere with the SA, the ‘Brownshirts’ who served as the Nazi Party’s private army. Scores were settled with impunity. Robberies, rapes, beatings and murders were commonplace. Their victims were Communists, Social Democrats, Jews and anyone else who had ever offended the brown-shirted Storm Troopers of the SA.
The violence against the Jews and Hitler’s failure to rein it in were, in Churchill’s opinion, his first two big mistakes.

Now, Churchill was planning to make Hitler pay. The Jews were key. In the short term, with a little luck, what Churchill knew to be a very weak German economy could collapse and with it the entire odious Nazi regime. If not, then in the long term, Germany’s ability to re-arm and wage war would be dramatically weakened.
Churchill may have been out of power and out of influence, but he was not out of ideas. He had a multi-faceted plan for dealing with Hitler and the threat to the peace of Europe he posed. He hoped that the first, but not the last, step would be taken in a few moments.

My Review:
3 stars

Overall, I had some mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I loved the historical elements and the amount of research the authors put into the story. However, then the story would switch to something that I knew was historically inaccurate or at the very least, suspect. I was expecting some elements of fiction, but usually historical fiction still stays true to the well-known parts of history, which didn't always happen here. Talking about the Guinness Book of Records 20 years before it was created? My suspension of disbelief doesn't go that far.

Then there were the characters. While they were interesting and engaging, there were so many that I had trouble tracking who was who or why I was supposed to care about them. It took me a while to stop mixing people up or forgetting them, though part of this could be because I haven't read the other books in the series.

This was a thrilling read, as the story kept moving quickly and juggled the many introduced elements well. Yet sometimes, the jumping between people and places became a bit disorienting and didn't flow. Additionally, even though this is set in WWII, I wasn't expecting the violence to be so graphic. The blurb just didn't scream graphic violence to me, so I was taken aback by it. Therefore, if you're squeamish about graphic violence, skip this read. 

Overall, this book isn't going to be for everyone. But if you're looking for an interesting historical read, consider giving The Silver Mosaic a try.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin are the co-authors of the award winning 1930s era “Winston Churchill Thriller” series. The first four novels in the series—The DeValera Deception, The Parsifal Pursuit, The Gemini Agenda and The Berghof Betrayal—received a total of 14 literary awards. The Silver Mosaic is their fifth Winston Churchill Thriller and they are currently at work on their sixth, The Liebold Protocol. Both Michael and Patrick have travelled extensively in Europe, South America, Central America and Asia while Patrick has also travelled in the Middle East and Africa.

Michael is the author of the critically acclaimed Becoming Winston Churchill, The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor [Hardcover, Greenwood 2007; Paperback, Enigma 2009] and co-author of Milking the Public, Political Scandals of the Dairy Lobby from LBJ to Jimmy Carter [Nelson Hall, 1980]. He is an editorial board member of Finest Hour, the quarterly journal of the Churchill Centre and Museum in London and a contributing editor for the libertarian magazine Reason. His work has also appeared in The Churchills in Ireland, 1660-1965, Corrections and Controversies [Irish Academic Press, 2012] as well as two Reason anthologies, Free Minds & Free Markets, Twenty Five Years of Reason [Pacific Research Institute, 1993] and Choice, the Best of Reason [BenBella Books, 2004]. He was formerly a First Amendment and media defense lawyer and a U.S. Army counter-intelligence agent.

Patrick, the other half of the father-son writing team, is an award-winning journalist who has produced stories for ABC News, Fox News and HuffPost. He is a Phi Beta Kappa cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester with Departmental Honors in both 20th Century European History and Film Studies.


  1. Thanks for your review. We understand your point about the graphic violence [our wife/mother agrees with you], but we thought the Nazis were sufficiently evil that we had to show the reader how bad they were rather than just tell her.

    What we try to do in our novels is tell a completely fictional story against an otherwise historically accurate background. That's why we feel so bad about the Guiness glitch because even small things like that can undermine if not destroy verisimilitude. Aside from that, however, what other 'historically inaccurate' elements did you find? We're 70% through a first draft of our next novel set a year later in 1934 and we'd like to avoid any more Guiness glitches.

    Thanks again,
    Michael & Patrick