Two Storm Wood: Book summary and reviews of Two Storm Wood by Philip Gray

Two Storm Wood

A Novel

by Philip Gray

Two Storm Wood by Philip Gray X
Two Storm Wood by Philip Gray
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About this book

Book Summary

In this thriller set on the battlefields of the Somme after the end of World War I, a woman investigates the disappearance of her fiancé.

The Great War has ended, but for Amy Vanneck there is no peace. Her fiancé, Edward Haslam, a lieutenant in the 7th Manchesters, is missing, presumed dead. Amy travels to the desolate battlefields of northern France to learn his fate and recover his body.

She's warned that this open-air morgue is no place for a civilian, much less a woman, but Amy is willing to brave the barbed wire, the putrid water, and the rat-infested tunnels that dot the landscape. Her search is upended when she discovers the scene of a gruesome mass murder. What does it signify? Soon Amy begins to have suspicions that Edward might not really be dead. Disquieting and yet compulsively readable, Two Storm Wood builds to an ending that is both thrilling and emotionally riveting.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Immersive and eerily atmospheric, Gray's novel delivers vivid historic detail and gripping suspense." ― Christine Tran, Booklist (starred review)

This information about Two Storm Wood shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Kimberly C. (Ypsilanti, MI)

Compelling and emotional
A compelling war drama that is part mystery, part thriller and part love story. The scenes of combat and wartime devastation are gripping. There are a number of military officers (perhaps too many) to keep track of, but the story is propelled by the central theme of Amy Vanneck trying to learn what happened to her fiancé on the battlefields of France in the Great War. There were a number of times I found myself reading and thinking the story would make for an engaging movie. The final chapters are quite powerful and make for a satisfying conclusion.

Bev C. (Latrobe, PA)

Two Storm Wood
This book with topic, time frame and genre seemed like a good fit for me.
But truthfully I stalled in the first portion of the book.
I am so glad I continued!
As the story evolved on the battle fields of northern France, it became evident that the plot was much deeper than I originally suspected.
Well researched, thought provoking and surprising, I thought characters were well portrayed and situations resolved for the reader.
I do recommend this read.

Thanks to W.W.Norton & Company and BookBrowse for an ARC.

Roberta W. (Los Ranchos, NM)

An outstanding WWI story
This excellent book gave me a better understanding of the horrors of WWI. My grandfather came back from WWI, with what would be called PTSD now, and this book gave me a glimpse into what he might have endured. The descriptions of the trenches, the dead and the living, many of whom suffered disfiguring injuries, was told in great detail.

I had not given much thought to the fact that after war, bodies must be identified to help bring closure to grieving relatives. It was a grisly task and this book does not gloss over these details.

The main character, Amy Vanneck, sets out to find her fiancé who is missing in action. She learns that she should search Two Storm Wood, the scene of a great atrocity, where her fiance may have played a part. She herself meets with danger as she tries to uncover the truth.

The author's research was meticulous and the book is well-written. There is romance and mystery which is entirely believable.

I highly recommend this book.

Joanne V. (Phoenix, AZ)

A Difficult but Compelling....
I have never read anything by Philip Gray or much about WWI, but I would highly recommend this book. The writing, plot, character development are terrific! It was not a particularly easy read and I am going to re-read it when I don't feel rushed. The book describes the horrors of trench warfare, and I was unaware of the soldiers who stayed behind to identify the dead. Read this book! It would also be a good one for a book club discussion I think. Thanks so much for the opportunity to review and to discover a new author! Well, new to me!

Rebecca H. (Bolton, CT)

Two Storm Wood
This is a compelling novel that combines historical fiction, suspense, romance, and social commentary, and has all the best elements of each. The story alternates between two timelines: the latter part of WWI and just after the war. Amy Vanneck's secret fiance, Edward, has enlisted late in the war, having been forced to do so by the influence of her parents. A gentle schoolmaster, he is in a reserved occupation and is unsuited for battle. Amy travels to France to try to recover his body after he goes missing in action. As she searches for his corpse amidst the horrors of the trenches, she uncovers the scene of a gruesome mass murder. Soon she is mired in an investigation of her own, not knowing who to trust amongst the military on the scene. The depictions of the moral ambiguity of war and the reality of trench warfare are harrowing and realistic, and Amy's struggles are authentic for a woman of her time and class. The characters leap off the page to live in the imagination, and the writing is skillful and powerful as the suspense builds towards the final climax. Two Storm Wood is the best war novel I've read in a long time, and I highly recommend it to lovers of historical fiction.

John A. (Austin, TX)

Great Historical Fiction
Not only is this great historical fiction, it is also a fascinating mystery/detective story. One gets a real feel for the carnage of WWI. The incredible number of dead left in the battlefields after the war ended was vividly illustrated as were the lives of the trench raiders (equivalent to the German Storm Troopers who started this feature of the war). The bravery and dogged persistence of the Englishwoman trying to find her fiance near where he was reported missing led to the steady unwinding of the mystery of his ultimate fate. There were lots of twists and surprises along the way that enhanced the enjoyment of this very entertaining and educational novel.

...20 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Philip Gray

Philip Gray, under the pseudonym of Patrick Lynch, is the coauthor of six thrillers that have sold over a million copies worldwide. He published, as Philip Sington, Zoia's Gold, The Einstein Girl, and The Valley of Unknowing. He lives in London.

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