CODE NAME KRIS by Carol Matas


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In a strong sequel to Lisa's War (1989), Jesper continues his activities with the Danish resistance after Lisa and her brother Stefan depart in 1943 with the other Jewish refugees. Chiefly, he's involved in putting out an underground newspaper, and--especially after Stefan's eventual return--he also engages again in hair-raising acts of sabotage. From its opening ("I am to be executed": Jesper has been caught and tortured by the Gestapo, and relates his adventures from prison), this is a gripping story that includes a fascinating range of resistance activities and coherently relates them to events in the war and the way Danish society evolved under the Nazis. While it doesn't offer new insights, the earlier story's themes are powerfully reiterated: in the end, Jesper recoils from the hate and violence the Nazis have elicited from him. And Matas skillfully holds attention by leaving the reader to wonder until the end whether Jesper will survive and by introducing a Danish member of the Gestapo who may or may not be a double agent. Fine historical fiction.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1990
ISBN: 684-19208-X
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Scribner
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