Petken just keeps getting better and better. The queen of Historical Fiction has done it again with her new novel, ‘The German Half-Bloods.’ This, I think, is one of her best – a real page-turner.

The story focuses on a German/English family living in Dresden at the start of WWII. It begins in 1939 before the invasion of Poland, and we are introduced to the Vogel’s: Dieter, the patriarch; his wife, Laura, who was a British citizen by birth; their sons, Wilmot, Max, and Paul; and their daughter, Hannah who is engaged to a Brit (Frank).

Paul has just graduated from Medical School and the Vogel’s are having a party in his honor. Dieter, a German industrialist and member of the Nazi party, has invited several prominent party members and SS officers to the celebration. Paul, who distains the Nazi’s, plans to study psychiatry and hopes to get a residency at a hospital in England. But, he will soon discover that his father and the Nazi’s have other plans for him.

This was a terrific read. The characters are multi-faceted and it was easy to become invested in their fates. Twists and turns abound as we follow the Vogel’s through the horrors of the war and atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. The narrative had me sitting on the edge of my seat, unable to put the book down. I can’t wait for the second installment in this marvelous family saga.

Most highly recommended for lovers of Historical Fiction and complex family dramas. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.