The Constant Soldier
Bord Gáis Energy Crime Fiction Book of the Year
HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown
CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
'Haunting, passionate, William Ryan’s The Constant Soldier is a subtle WW2 thriller of horror and love with an utterly gripping countdown to Gotterdamerung.' - Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Red Sky at Noon.
Shortlisted for the HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown.
1944. Paul Brandt, a soldier in the German army, returns wounded and ashamed from the bloody chaos of the Eastern front to find his village home much changed and existing in the dark shadow of an SS rest hut – a luxurious retreat for those who manage the concentration camps, run with the help of a small group of female prisoners who – against all odds – have so far survived the war.
When, by chance, Brandt glimpses one of these prisoners, he realizes that he must find a way to access the hut. For inside is the woman to whom his fate has been tied since their arrest five years before, and now he must do all he can to protect her.
But as the Russian offensive moves ever closer, the days of this rest hut and its SS inhabitants are numbered. And while hope – for Brandt and the female prisoners – grows tantalizingly close, the danger too is now greater than ever.
And, in a forest to the east, a young female Soviet tank driver awaits her orders to advance . . .
A book of great moral seriousness and a tense and grippingly atmospheric thriller, The Constant Soldier is a brilliant evocation of the price of redemption and the cost of guilt. An important book but one that reads with all the panache and skill of a thriller. Highly recommended
Stav Sherez (author of The Devil's Playground)
A gripping story of the struggle for humanity in the last days of the war. Ryan makes you think, makes you feel and makes you turn the page
Michael Ridpath (author of Where the Shadows Lie)
The Constant Soldier is a nuanced, complex and gripping tale of guilt and love that captures the chaos at the end of WWII
A.L. Kennedy (author of Costa Award Winning novel, DAY)