Reece Pocock has written an authoritative and intimate story of two families brought together by war and peace; in the process, he creates a fine study of how ordinary people are swept along by political and military events over which they have no control but which continue to colour their daily lives.
In North Africa in the 1940s, two men – Bill, an Australian and Rolf, a German – confront each other in a one-to-one fight in the vicious battles around Tobruk. Both are forever scared physically and mentally. Later, when Rolf is fighting in Italy, he learns of the Dresden fire bombing, deserts and returns home to find his family dead or dying. Rolf flees Germany and takes the identity of a dead companion, winding up in a displaced persons camp in France, from where he eventually migrates to Australia. The Australians meanwhile are withdrawn from North Africa and fight in the Pacific. In Papua-New Guinea, Bill is exposed to the horrors of jungle warfare and is invalided out of the army.
Five years after the War, Bill and Rolf meet each other by chance in Australia without knowing who the other is, and strike up a working relationship. Some of the locals resent the arrival of German migrants and Rolf is the subject of abuse and violence. When Rolf and Bill’s sister Elaine fall in love, family resistance is strengthened. Rolf eventually realises that it was Bill who wounded him in North Africa and must decide whether to forgive and forget or whether to seek revenge.
Pocock evokes powerful imagery of the viciousness of war in both the desert and the jungle as well as convincingly portraying how men respond under enormous stress.
The dissonance between men at war and men in peace is a central theme of the book
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Reece Pocock is from Adelaide, South Australia. He writes crime/thrillers, historical fiction, children’s stories, short stories, personal development books, screenplays and stage plays.
After years in the Army, Reece enjoyed a business career in sales and management. He was instrumental in introducing the Bobcat skid steer loader to the South Australian market—this was one of the highlights of this career.
He studied from 2000 to 2003 to obtain his Advanced Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing). This experience had a profound influence on his life, opening up many opportunities and proved life changing.
History as a Writer
Reece had about sixty articles published in, TheCheers online magazine. This website also published twelve of Reece’s short stories.
Two short stories, The Girl in the Red Beret, and What a Dirty Little Town was included in an anthology—The Killing Words—published by Crime-writers SA.
Reece won the City of Burnside Library crime short story contest, with his story, The Girl in the Red Beret. His screenplay, The Soldiers, adapted from his novel of the same name, was highly commended in the Di Cranston award administered by the Fellowship of Australian Writers. The Ned Kelly writing award long listed, Murder on Display and The Politics of Murder.
Reece’s first crime novel, Murder on Display, was published by Custom Book Publications in November 2012 and the same publisher published his second novel the Politics of Murder in September 2014. He has self-published Evil in the City, a book of crime short stories, Love and War, war-related short stories. Melissa Lane, girl detective a children’s story about missing lunch money, Sarah