It was bad enough having a serial murderer lose in Berlin, but when the latest victim is his sister Sabine’s best friend Rachel, Otto is devasted. But even more worrying is Sabine’s growing friendship with Ari, Rachel’s brother. In Nazi Germany being friends with a Jewish family is not a good idea, being in love is asking for trouble.
Once war starts Berlin becomes even more dangerous, the killer doesn’t seem to care about the victim’s race, but the Nazis do. As Sabine’s family grow more concerned about the situation, they hatch a plan that will have far reaching consequences into the future, not just for Sabine and Ari but for the whole family.
Betrayed begins in 1930s Berlin and ends in post war Palestine as the true extent of her family’s betrayal finally comes to light.
This book contains adult content.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have always wanted to write about a serial killer and I have always been fascinated by the rise of the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s so it seemed only natural to put the two together and Betrayed is the result.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The characters invented themselves to a certain extent. I started writing about Sabine and her best friend Rachel, and they rest developed from there. My novels are always character led, I work out what I am going to write and then sit down and write something completely different! I often find myself writing stuff and wondering where on earth the story is going, then a few chapters later it all makes sense which which is rather satisfying but a bit spooky. Readers have often told me they didn't see that coming and the reason is probably because I didn't either!
22nd July 1946
For a split second, Tom had no idea what the noise was, then the enormous bang and low ominous rumble triggered memories of the past and he knew without doubt it was a bomb. Running in the direction of the explosion, Tom reached the corner and then stopped, unable to believe what his eyes were telling him.
‘Oh my God!’ His voice sounded hoarse from the dust swirling around in the air, but he didn’t notice. His only thought was that no one could possibly have survived and he stared in horror at the ruins of Jerusalem’s premier hotel. The device must have been placed in the main basement, right under the wing that housed the British Mandate Secretariat. Five minutes later and he too would have been a casualty because the explosion had collapsed the whole side of the building in which he had his office. Properties on either side of the King David Hotel had sustained damage and Tom could see several casualties and fatalities in the road and on the opposite pavement, caused by bricks and stones raining down on an unsuspecting public. The blast had also blown out windows and doors in the hotel and surrounding properties, showering broken glass everywhere. The initial eerie silence had been replaced by a cacophony of screams and shouts and his ears rang with the noise.
‘Have they brought anyone out alive?’ Tom grabbed hold of one of the porters who was standing as if rooted to the spot, his uniform hanging in tatters, its jagged edges fluttering in the gentle breeze and his eyes were glazed while he stared at the horror all around him.
The porter shook his head, unable to speak; he couldn’t believe he was alive, that somehow he had survived the massive explosion that had ripped the heart out of such a beautiful building. Making an effort to collect his thoughts, he turned to the British officer whose normally handsome sun-tanned face was pale and distraught. He shook his head again.
‘I’m sorry, sir. I have no idea.’
The wailing of sirens came closer and the screams and moans of the wounded grew louder. Tom hesitated for a moment then scrambled over the rubble searching for his colleagues and friends who were possibly buried under the ruins of the hotel. Ignoring the warning shouts that began almost immediately, Tom pulled free large chunks of rock with his bare hands, hoping to find someone alive. But his first find was a dismembered arm. He moved away and began again, this time slightly further in towards the main building. After a few moments he heard a faint cry coming from somewhere to his left.
‘Quick over here!’ Tom yelled at a couple of soldiers who were busy clearing a path for the several ambulances now arriving.
‘There’s someone buried under there.’ Tom pointed to where he’d heard the sound and the soldiers began to tear away the top layer of masonry with Tom’s help. By now the area was full of soldiers and police, all digging through the rubble, stones, bricks and masonry in their frantic search for survivors.
‘Here!’ The soldier shouted to one of the stretcher bearers who made his way carefully across the ruins and helped him lift the body of a young woman from the rubble. Tom recognised her from the typing pool. To his relief she seemed to be reasonably unharmed, although she was obviously in shock and had what appeared to be a broken arm. Turning back to the devastation, Tom tried to move some of the heavier blocks in the hope of finding more people alive. His concentration was such, he was totally unaware of anyone else around him until he suddenly felt someone grabbing holding of him. He struggled in vain to loosen his arms from the iron grip that held them, his only thought to free his friends from beneath the pile of rubble in front of him.
‘Leave it to the experts, Tom.’ The tall, white haired man with piercing blue eyes held tight and continued to talk, his calm voice close to Tom’s ear: ‘You could make it worse; cause more of the building to collapse, old boy. Come and wait with me while they carry on with their work. You’ll only get in the way.’ As the man finished speaking, he felt the resistance in Tom’s arms subsiding.
Colonel Oliver Harris put his arm around the younger man’s shoulders and gently led him to the other side of the road where it was shady and much cooler. Oliver took his handkerchief from his top pocket and wiped the sweat from his face while he watched the activity opposite, his mind already working through a list of the numerous active groups who might be responsible for such wanton violence.
‘Wasn’t there any warning?’ Tom’s voice broke into his thoughts and he shook his head.
‘Not that we are aware of at this moment. There’ll be time for that afterwards. At the moment we need to find out who’s responsible.’
Tom nodded and then a feeling of dread crept through his body as an appalling thought struck him. Sabine had been coming to meet him for lunch today. What if…? His thoughts refused to go any further and, taking a deep breath, he dismissed his fears as groundless. There was no logical reason for her to be among the victims. Sabine had been meeting a friend in the old part of the town that morning and was probably still there, chatting away, oblivious to the carnage and the terrible fears that were threatening to overcome him. Tom needed to make sure Sabine was alright but he’d been too busy to ask who she was seeing that morning or even where they were going to be, so he had no way of finding her.
‘Is everything alright, Tom?’ Oliver was watching him with concern.
‘Yes… No.’ Tom stopped, realising he wasn’t making any sense, collected his thoughts and began again: ‘I have no idea where Sabine is. She was going to meet me for lunch today after her trip to the old town.’
Oliver sighed. Somehow, he doubted Sabine would have been anywhere near here when the bomb went off; her ‘friend’ would have seen to that. In any case, a quick phone call would soon establish her whereabouts.
Sabine had been watched for several weeks now, ever since she had first made contact with her friend who was already under surveillance. As yet, Oliver had no idea whether her involvement was coincidental, a surprise meeting of two old friends, or whether it was something more deadly. On the face of it, Sabine was the most unlikely terrorist, but experience had taught him that life was full of surprises and that he should take nothing at face value. Oliver’s original intention had been to investigate thoroughly and, if his suspicions were borne out in any way, by even the smallest of facts, he would speak to Tom. Unfortunately, it looked like time had unexpectedly run out, leaving him with no option but to tell Tom exactly who his wife’s friend was and to allow him to draw his own conclusions. He would leave it until the following day, when things had calmed down a bit, but he hoped with all sincerity that Tom would not have cause to wish that Sabine had been buried in the rubble, because the alternative, that she had been involved in trying to kill him, would be much harder to come to terms with.
Carole McEntee-Taylor writes and publishes military history, historical fiction, memoirs and spiritual books. Her military history include Herbert Columbine VC, Surviving the Nazi Onslaught, A Battle Too Far and The Battle of Bellewaarde 1915.
She also writes historical fiction, including A One Way Ticket, a four part series based on the true story of Seaman Bill Young through and after WW2, Secret Lives, a six part series set through WW1; Lives Apart: A WW2 Chronicle, a five part series based on the true story of Rifleman Ted Taylor and his fiancée Brenda through WW2, Obsession, a five book series inspired by the true story of the thousands of allied POWs who disappeared at the end of WW2 and Betrayed, a murder mystery set in 1940s Berlin and Palestine.
Carole worked for several years in the Military Corrective Training Centre, Colchester, the UK’s only remaining military detention centre and now lives in North Lincolnshire with her husband and writes full time.
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