Book Title: Of Darkness and Light by Heidi Eljarbo
Category: Adult Fiction, 261 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery/Dual timeline/WWII Fiction
Publisher: Independently published
Release dates: May 12, 2020
Content Rating: PG (murder, war crimes)
In this first book of a new historical mystery series, a young art historian faces a tough choice in German-occupied Norway.
Oslo, 1944. Soli Hansen’s passion for art history is and always has been a way of life for her. While she spends her days working in an art shop, WWII is taking its toll on everyone. Apprehensive of the consequences, Soli avoids becoming entangled in the war resistance efforts. She closes her eyes in hopes the enemy will retreat and leave her beautiful country for good.
But when a woman is found dead in the alley alongside the art shop and a painting from the last auction goes missing, Soli is thrown into the thickest of the fray involving both Nazi art theft and the Norwegian resistance.
Once Soli finds her courage, there’s no turning back. Her personal life is turned upside-down with danger, lies, spying, and an incredible discovery.
In this dual timeline novel, Heidi Eljarbo paints a vivid picture of what people are willing to do in desperate times. With unforgettable characters and rich historical details, Of Darkness and Light will keep the reader mesmerized until the last satisfying page.
Perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley, Katherine Neville, and Kate Mosse.
Soli Hansen works in an art shop. She minds her own business and tries not to see the effects that war has on her country. But then a woman is found murdered in the alley behind her shop and from that moment onwards nothing is the same. She meets a police inspector whose questions lead her to realize the Nazis are stealing valuable art. She discovers the resistance work of young Norwegians who are trying to save artwork from getting in the hands of the Nazis. Suddenly, Soli is involved in a dangerous mission.
This novel is exciting, intriguing, and a great start to the series. Soli is a naïve, bright young woman who quickly realizes that fighting one's enemy can be done in many ways. She learns to be brave and courageous. And she discovers the value of her skills as an art historian.
There is a dual timelime in this novel with the secondary part that takes place in the 16th century. It's the story of the famous Italian painter Carravaggio and his art work that ties in to Soli's time. I have seen this artist's artwork when I visited a museum in Rome and it's quite striking. I enjoyed this part of the novel very much too.
If you love historical mysteries set in Germany-occupied Europe with art theft as a theme, this novel is a must-read. The next book in the series The Other Cipher was released in Dec 2020. I cannot wait to see where Eljarbo brings us next in Soli's clandestine work in preserving precious artwork.
Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of Catching a Witch. She grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.
After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, thirteen grandchildren–so far–in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier.
Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter. Heidi’s favorites are family, God’s beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.
If you would like to know more, please visit Heidi’s website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.