Book Review – Nightmare by Hans M Hirschi

First published, 2015

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

When our protagonist begins his story, he, his husband, and their young son are fleeing Sweden for their lives. The Russians have begun what amounts to a world war, invading countries all over the Baltic and Scandinavian regions, and it’s simply not safe for a gay couple to exist, much less raise a family, in the face of the oppression coming across the horizon.

As the family gathers their valuables and makes their way into the war zone, debris is flying and, thanks to an unscrupulous but arguably savvy taxi driver, they make it to Germany. But can they get to Jonathan’s homeland of Switzerland or will they be torn apart on the road to freedom?

An amazing story. I went without sleep to finish it, which will teach me an important lesson about starting books at bedtime. The writing was emotionally charged and geopolitically canny, and I really loved the characters.

The ending, which I won’t spoil for you, left me shocked enough to read it back three times. It packs a punch throughout, but Nightmare also has a surprising finish.