Wednesday 26 May 2021

#BlogTour The Secretary by Catherine Hokin

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Secretary by Catherine Hoskin.

About the Author

Catherine Hokin is the author of two World War Two inspired novels set in Berlin, her favourite city. Following a History degree at Manchester University she worked in teaching, marketing and politics, while waiting for a chance to do what she really wanted which was to write full time. Her short stories have been published by iScot, Writers Forum and Myslexia magazines and she was the winner of the 2019 Fiction 500 Short Story Competition. She is a lover of strong female leads and a quest.

Catherine now lives in Glasgow with her American husband. She has two grown-up children – one of whom lives, very conveniently, in Berlin – and a life long addiction to very loud music. Follow @cathokinon Facebook, Visit

About the book

The Tower House. Down a secluded path, hidden by overgrown vines, the crumbling villa echoes with memories. Of the family who laughed and sang there, until the Nazis tore them from their home. And of the next woman to walk its empty rooms, whose courage in the face of evil could alter the course of history…

Germany 1940. As secretary to the leader of the SS, Magda spends her days sending party invitations to high-ranking Nazis, and her evenings distributing pamphlets for the resistance. But Magda is leading a dangerous double life, smuggling secrets out of the office. It’s a deadly game, and eventual exposure is a certainty, but Magda is driven by a need to keep the man she secretly loves safe as he fights against the Nazis…

Forty years later. Nina’s heart pounds as she steps into an uncertain future carrying a forged passport, a few bank notes, and a scribbled address for The Tower House taken from an intricate drawing she found hidden in her grandmother’s wardrobe. Separated from her family and betrayed by her country, Nina’s last hope is to trace her family’s history in the ruins of the past her grandmother ran from. But, when she finally finds the abandoned house, she opens the door to a forgotten story, and to secrets which will change everything: past, present, and future…

A poignant and gripping novel about bravery, loss and redemption during the Second World War. An unputdownable read for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, We Were the Lucky Ones and The Alice Network.


Although it's fiction based on factual historical events on a larger scale, it's a story that is relevant now and serves as a reminder. The author gives readers a great read, but also gives them food for thought.

Set over a dual timeline, the story of Magda in 1940 and her granddaughter forty years later, we get an impression of a country under the thumb of two oppressive rules. First the Nazi's then navigating the dangers and difficulties of East Germany. Magda has to make a choice between comfortable safety and her soul, whereas Nina tries to escape the open prison East Germany has been turned into. Her pursuit of the truth in an attempt to connect with Magda's past reveals far more than she ever expected.

'They carry no guilt or responsibility for any of it.' For many men, women and children the Nazi regime is a way of life that was imprinted on certain generations, and even in the face of irrefutable evidence there is still this stoic usually silent affirmation of the aforementioned lack of responsibility in regards to the atrocities committed in the name of creating a superior race and country. 

Indeed if you still believe the indoctrination of the Jew at the core of all things wrong in the world, and that the Nazi regime acted in the best interest of country and people, then of course there will always be a lack of remorse. It's probably one of the longest running conspiracy theories, it is certainly one that has caused a plethora of victims.

Even now when we see history repeating itself, even after decades of Never Again, We Remember, it is blatantly clear that nobody has learnt any lessons. Well, I say nobody, but this time there are many voices and people willing to stand up and fight against this new tidal wave of anti-Semitism. New would also perhaps be the wrong word, because the hatred  and paranoia towards the Jewish community runs deep and is systemic - it's not new it's just getting louder, more volatile and becoming the norm again.

It's captivating historical fiction, a story of secrets buried deep in the past, and a family connection that has the kind of bond that grows stronger the more the past comes calling.

Buy The Secretary at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Bookouture pub date 24 May 2021. Buy at Amazon comAt Apple. Kobo. Google.

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