Monday, January 11, 2016

Time of Useful Consciousness: a great post-World War II mystery

Time of Useful Consciousness by Jennifer Ott is a post-World War II drama set in Allied-occupied Germany. Louisa Unger is caught in a world of secrets and when she’s arrested for murder, a U.S. colonel urges her to tell her story for her freedom. She must decide if she will give up the names of her countrymen for her freedom. The story is told in a series of flashbacks as Louisa begins her tale.

The story opens as Louisa kills a man and is arrested by the American troops. She is urged by Colonel Dan Taylor to give up the names of the men running an elusive black market in war torn Europe. She, at first, resists insisting she would never rat on her countrymen. She begins to talk without giving up too much information. She explains how her older brother, Freddy, and his friend, Kris Schuler, introduce her to flying as they run errands of secret cargo and shady deals under the nose of the Allied forces. She soon joins them on their runs and becomes deep in this secretive world. Louisa begins to wonder about their elusive employer, Marcus Visser. Is he man or myth? Soon, events begin to unfold as their operations begin to unravel. They must race to find a way out. Will Louisa trust Colonel Taylor and tell him what she knows? Will the identity or existence of Marcus Visser be revealed?

Time of Useful Consciousness is a great book which made writing this review difficult because there is so much that happens. I can’t write about a lot because it would spoil the reveal in the story. Like a great mystery story, so much builds on the clue before. The twists and turns which answers some questions and leads to even bigger questions. The title is a reference to the amount of time an individual is able to perform flying duties efficiently in an environment of inadequate oxygen supply. I found the tittle to be a great allusion to events of the story. I enjoyed Louisa and her survival mode as she must decide who she will trust and who she will not. I highly recommend Time of Useful Consciousness. This book is definitely on my keeper shelf.

Time of Useful Consciousness
is available on Amazon
in paperback for $24
on the Kindle for $4.99 and free with Kindle Unlimited