cover image Codes of Courage

Codes of Courage

A.L. Sowards. Covenant, $17.99 trade paper (344p) ISBN 978-1-524-42403-9

Sowards disappoints in the WWII-set follow-up to Heirs of Falcon Point. Karl Lang, an Austrian who fled the Nazis and is eager to do his part to defeat them, joined England’s Merchant Navy after learning he was ineligible for the country’s military. He spends his days ferrying supplies and pining for Millie Stevens, the brainy, crossword-obsessed American he’d met at a cafe in Zurich months before. When the two serendipitously run into one another in the streets of London, sparks fly and the two start dating, but soon Karl returns to the sea and Millie begins her own war work, translating German communications into English. Some of those messages come from a U-boat where Rolf Denhart is a radio operator slowly losing faith in the Nazi regime. As the plot unfolds, all three characters must reckon with their choices and role in the war, using their belief in God as a moral compass. Unfortunately, Sowards sets a slow pace and struggles to capitalize on the high stakes of the maritime war effort, and while Karl and Millie’s relationship provides the novel with a strong emotional backbone, Rolf’s storyline adds little. This fails to deliver on its promising setup. (Oct.)