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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
The Violence of Reason by Pete Planisek is a gripping historical fiction thriller set in Nazi-occupied Norway. Aside from her job at a bookstore, Norill is an amateur pianist, courier, and spy for Norway's underground resistance against the Nazi regime. But when her friends and family members inexplicably start disappearing around her, Norill's whole world collapses, and she finds herself detained and tortured by the Germans for information. Unsure of who to trust, Norill's only hope lies in a German double agent with mysterious motives. Meanwhile, the Nazis forcefully acquire her family farm, but she somehow manages to find a way to escape with an Allied soldier. But not everything is as it seems, as Norill will soon find herself in a confrontation with someone familiar. Will she meet the same fate as her friends and family?
The Violence of Reason is a moving tale that sheds light on those men and women who risked their lives and those of their families on behalf of dignity and right in their fight against the Nazis. Pete Planisek has crafted a relentlessly brutal narrative that doesn't shy away from showcasing the atrocities committed by the Nazis during their heyday in a realistic manner that makes it all the more impactful. The plot is full of shocking reveals, twists, and turns that you never see coming. As a reader, you can't help but feel for the plight of Norill, whose courage and will to fight amid terrifying situations make her easy to root for. I was honestly surprised by the ending and thoroughly enjoyed the book overall. Highly recommended.