Gordon Kerr’s new novel, The Partisan Heart, utilises the dual timeline and Second World War setting, both so popular at the moment.

Moving between the war-torn northern Italy of 1944 and London and Italy of the late 1990s, the book is part thriller, part historical drama.

The ‘now’ and ‘then’ intersect in the real-life setting of Valtellina, where protagonist Michael, in the modern day, travels, determined to find the identity of the person with whom his wife was having an affair before her death; she was killed in a hit-and-run in Italy. More than five decades before, in the same mountainous terrain, the Resistance is fighting the good fight against the Nazis and 18-year-old Sandro is engaged in a fated affair with the wife of his commander. The past and present collide – in his journey to uncover the truth about his wife, Michael touches upon matters perhaps better left forgotten relating to Valtellina’s somewhat turbulent past.

A clever, well-paced story set in a beautifully realised locale, The Partisan Heart is a sound fictional debut. The perfect holiday read.

The Partisan Heart | Gordon Kerr | Muswell Press | paperback | £12.99 | June 2019

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the publisher virtual book tour. Please check out the other participants. Many thanks to Tim Donald for organising it and for sending us a review copy. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.


Also of interest:By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Permission by Saskia Vogel‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone’; ‘The beauty of Tom Cox’s personal landscape‘; ‘Call Me Star Girl’;Falling from the Floating World‘; ‘Blood Orange’; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Dialogue’s brilliant debut; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’;RW Kwon’s The Incendiaries’; ‘Beautiful words – The Language of Secrets‘; ‘Beauty in translation – Roxanne Bouchard’s French Canadian noir‘; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

Select Q&As/interviews: ‘Meet Charlie Laidlaw’;‘Meet Paul E. Hardisty’;‘Lilja Sigurðardóttir’; ’Tom Cox’; ‘Vanda Symon; ‘Gunnar Staalesen’; Some like it hot – the joy of Carole Mortimer, award-winning novelist‘; Gina Kirkham;John Fairfax’; ‘Ian Ridley’; ‘David Stuart Davies’.


This review is © 2019 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. All opinions are our own. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do contact us to request permission. Thank you so much.



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