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For Malice and Mercy

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German immigrants Karl and Marta Meyer are loyal Americans, especially after an eye-opening visit to see their family during Hitler’s pre-war rise to power. When America enters the war, the FBI arrests the Meyers as spies, then strips them of their citizenship, rights, and livelihood. They are banished to a German/Japanese internment camp, but then violently targeted by Hi German immigrants Karl and Marta Meyer are loyal Americans, especially after an eye-opening visit to see their family during Hitler’s pre-war rise to power. When America enters the war, the FBI arrests the Meyers as spies, then strips them of their citizenship, rights, and livelihood. They are banished to a German/Japanese internment camp, but then violently targeted by Hitler loyalists. Deportation back to war-torn Germany seems their only hope of survival. Their son Hank enlists in the US Army Air Corps, hoping his pay can save the family’s home. After his B-17 is shot down, his ability to speak fluent German helps him evade capture. When the Gestapo is on his trail, he’s pursued as a spy and faces certain death if they can catch him. His life depends on the daring plan of two unlikely collaborators. This meticulously researched novel reveals untold stories of legalized hatred and the cost of unjustified suspicion. For Malice and Mercy has great relevance for our day, weaving a spellbinding saga of treachery, survival, and unmerited forgiveness.


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German immigrants Karl and Marta Meyer are loyal Americans, especially after an eye-opening visit to see their family during Hitler’s pre-war rise to power. When America enters the war, the FBI arrests the Meyers as spies, then strips them of their citizenship, rights, and livelihood. They are banished to a German/Japanese internment camp, but then violently targeted by Hi German immigrants Karl and Marta Meyer are loyal Americans, especially after an eye-opening visit to see their family during Hitler’s pre-war rise to power. When America enters the war, the FBI arrests the Meyers as spies, then strips them of their citizenship, rights, and livelihood. They are banished to a German/Japanese internment camp, but then violently targeted by Hitler loyalists. Deportation back to war-torn Germany seems their only hope of survival. Their son Hank enlists in the US Army Air Corps, hoping his pay can save the family’s home. After his B-17 is shot down, his ability to speak fluent German helps him evade capture. When the Gestapo is on his trail, he’s pursued as a spy and faces certain death if they can catch him. His life depends on the daring plan of two unlikely collaborators. This meticulously researched novel reveals untold stories of legalized hatred and the cost of unjustified suspicion. For Malice and Mercy has great relevance for our day, weaving a spellbinding saga of treachery, survival, and unmerited forgiveness.

30 review for For Malice and Mercy

  1. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    For Malice and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn I've read novels that deal with the WWII interment of Japanese Americans and also camps that housed German POWs in the United States. I wasn't aware that over 11,000 German Americans were also sent to internment camps and many of them were then sent to Germany, a country that they had left so they could live in the United States. This story tells us about Karl and Marta Meyer, German immigrants, loyal Americans, and parents to two children who were born in the For Malice and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn I've read novels that deal with the WWII interment of Japanese Americans and also camps that housed German POWs in the United States. I wasn't aware that over 11,000 German Americans were also sent to internment camps and many of them were then sent to Germany, a country that they had left so they could live in the United States. This story tells us about Karl and Marta Meyer, German immigrants, loyal Americans, and parents to two children who were born in the United States. Once the US enters the war, the FBI began rounding up some German Americans and Karl and Marta are taken from their home and stripped of everything, including their citizenship and rights. Still, their son, Hank, wants to serve his country and he enlists in the US Army Air Corps while his sister works long hours as a nurse. There are also their friends, Chester, who is in the Navy and Billie, who is able to use her pilot skills to serve in one of the ways women were allowed to help during the war. This story uses real life events, either leaving them as they really happened or using those events as the basis for things that happen to the Meyers and their friends. The story is told in a casual manner, as we get to know the characters and the challenges they face. After some chapters there will be notes describing the real events and how they were altered for the purpose of this story. Often I will research subjects of the historical fiction I am reading but there were enough notes that I didn't feel the need to look for more information. I did feel like the notes inserted throughout the book did take me out of the story and I would have liked them to be at the end of the book with the other documentation. There is so much of the story that I could relate to what I've already read and I enjoyed being aware of events, large and small, while learning of real events that I didn't know as much about. Thanks to this story, I want to know a lot more about the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) and the dangers and resentments they faced as they did their part to help the war effort. I have gotten to add some new perspectives in the way I understand how WWII impacted Americans, including the German Americans who were persecuted in such shameful ways. Publication: September 15th 2021 Thank you to American Legacy Media and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

    I thought I had just about had it with reading World War II novels; I’ve read so many over the last two years. But, this one was well worth it. The story is beautifully told and exposes some history of that era with which many of us are not familiar….how the United States treated many of its German citizens. Near the end of the book, it is revealed why so many of us are not knowledgeable about it. Ditto the history of and conduct toward the WASPS. There are religious aspects throughout, but they I thought I had just about had it with reading World War II novels; I’ve read so many over the last two years. But, this one was well worth it. The story is beautifully told and exposes some history of that era with which many of us are not familiar….how the United States treated many of its German citizens. Near the end of the book, it is revealed why so many of us are not knowledgeable about it. Ditto the history of and conduct toward the WASPS. There are religious aspects throughout, but they are not overdone and interweave well with the story. It is an engrossing read, with strong characters who will make an impression on many readers. The title is perfectly descriptive….here, we encounter malice as well as mercy. Lest the reader doubt the authenticity of some of the actions, Toyn, who has done extensive research, used end of chapter notes to identify real life events on which they were based. I liked this method of citation rather than footnotes or end of chapter notes. No need for the reader to Google! Note: I do not usually provide a synopsis of a book in my reviews; you can read that on Goodreads or Amazon. You can read my other reviews at http://vickieonmarco.blogspot.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    This is a great story that tells the story of German naturalized citizens and their family during World War II. I’ve read about what happened to Japanese Americans, but was not aware of similar stories for Germans. Karl and Marta were born in Germany, immigrated to the United States and became citizens. They had two children and were leading a good life on their farm when they were falsely accused of being German spies. They were initially sent to an interment camp, but eventually were deported This is a great story that tells the story of German naturalized citizens and their family during World War II. I’ve read about what happened to Japanese Americans, but was not aware of similar stories for Germans. Karl and Marta were born in Germany, immigrated to the United States and became citizens. They had two children and were leading a good life on their farm when they were falsely accused of being German spies. They were initially sent to an interment camp, but eventually were deported back to Germany. Through other characters, including their children, the author tells us of women piloting planes around the country, and nursing injured soldiers. We hear stories of pilots and prisoners of war. The author also includes footnotes at the end of most chapters that tell the facts he used to create fascinating stories for his characters. All in all, this is a book worth reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lori Sinsel Harris

    I have read a lot of books about WWII, both fiction and non-fiction. I was aware that there were camps housing suspected "spies" in America during the war. I never read anything about them nor did I really even give them a second thought. Needless to say I have made a grave error in not learning more about some of the negative roles the U.S. itself played during the war. Always so used to hearing that horn being tooted and our praises sung about our dramatic and heroic entry into and subsequent I have read a lot of books about WWII, both fiction and non-fiction. I was aware that there were camps housing suspected "spies" in America during the war. I never read anything about them nor did I really even give them a second thought. Needless to say I have made a grave error in not learning more about some of the negative roles the U.S. itself played during the war. Always so used to hearing that horn being tooted and our praises sung about our dramatic and heroic entry into and subsequent defeat of the Nazi. I never considered that there are things we should bow our heads in shame about. No one is completely good or completely innocent, there is always a negative if you have a positive. I have just kept my blinders on too long. This novel is based on one German families true experiences during those times. The parents are naturalized American citizens, the children, having been born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens by birth. This does not protect them when the parents are arrested in the middle of the night on unsubstantiated claims of being spies and collaborating with the Germans against the U.S.. The children are left to try and maintain the family home and their way of life. The parents are stripped of their constitutional rights and ended up in horrific amps under appalling conditions until they were eventually deported back to Germany. The author took years to research this book meticulously and did a great job with it. We all know about the horror of Auschwitz, Dachau and the other German concentration camps, but there is little if anything said about the cruelty and mistreatment of fellow human beings on this side of the Atlantic. My parents never mentioned a thing about these camps and they were very much present and involved during WWII. Not a word was said. This is a wonderful, eye-opening experience for me, giving me many new things to contemplate and ponder about the U.S.'s role during WWII. Thank you to Net Galley and American Legacy Media for the free ARC of this novel, I am leaving my honest review voluntarily in return.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Beilstein

    Read through NetGalley. This was a fairly long book. When I started it, I remember thinking "this better be good for me to stick with it through 584 pages". As I moved along through the story and got to know the characters, I didn't even notice where I was in the book until I hit 50%. Then I thought "well the first half was really good and I have to see what happens to all these people I now know and care about". And when I finished it last night, I said "No, it can't be over yet! I have to find Read through NetGalley. This was a fairly long book. When I started it, I remember thinking "this better be good for me to stick with it through 584 pages". As I moved along through the story and got to know the characters, I didn't even notice where I was in the book until I hit 50%. Then I thought "well the first half was really good and I have to see what happens to all these people I now know and care about". And when I finished it last night, I said "No, it can't be over yet! I have to find out what happens in the rest of their lives!" This book is that good. One technique I especially liked was the chapter notes at the end of a lot of the chapters. The book is a work of fiction about German immigrants in the US during WWII who are rounded up and sent to a camp in Texas under suspicion of being German spies. They ultimately get their US citizenship taken away and deported back to Germany as part of a POW trade deal. They leave behind in America an adult son and daughter who finds ways to participate in the war effort against Germany and have their own share of ups and downs with carrying a German name and speaking German fluently. The chapter notes explained actual events that happened during that time that the author wrote into his characters' lives. He gives the real names of the people he based the characters on and where you can find more about their story. It really made the whole story come alive more to think this stuff happened to real people and wasn't just invented in the author's mind. I read in the notes at the end of the book that the author mostly has written non-fiction books but I have to say that he made the transition to fiction very smoothly. I loved this book and would highly recommend it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Jones

    I love when I learn something new about WWII. Packed with powerful storytelling, emotions, and the power of forgiveness. Great read!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kendra Lusty

    Just when I thought my heart was fully broken, For Malice and Mercy broke it again. And again. It's so good. You barely get to know the Meyers family and their friends before they are forced apart to each experience some of the lesser known and untold stories of WWII: imprisonment in a German internment camp, the fear of sabotage against the Women Airforce Support Pilots (WASPs), and the dangers of being shot down behind enemy lines. Their adventures are as thrilling as they are tragic. And laced Just when I thought my heart was fully broken, For Malice and Mercy broke it again. And again. It's so good. You barely get to know the Meyers family and their friends before they are forced apart to each experience some of the lesser known and untold stories of WWII: imprisonment in a German internment camp, the fear of sabotage against the Women Airforce Support Pilots (WASPs), and the dangers of being shot down behind enemy lines. Their adventures are as thrilling as they are tragic. And laced throughout are themes of faith, hope and forgiveness. I especially loved watching them lean on each other to heal from mistreatment at the hands of clear enemies and those who were supposed to be allies. The historical context and first hand accounts in the author notes really helped drive it home that these tragedies really happened. I highly recommend this book. I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Margot Frye

    I received this book as an ARC and this is my review. I loved this book! This is an amazing story set during World War II, largely based on true incidents. It covers life in the US and Germany during this tumultuous period. Instead of focusing on battles, this is an up close view of the people involved in the war and follows their personal struggles and achievements. I totally recommend this book to any reader who enjoys the story inside the big picture.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shirley McAllister

    Forgiveness sets your heart free Karl and Marta Meyer immigrated from Germany to the U.S. and raised their two children in Utah. When Pear Harbor was bombed tensions grew tight in the U.S. Japanese American's and German American's were rounded up and sent to internment camps. One day the FBI came and arrested Karl and Marta and they were sent to an internment camp and then deported to Germany. Their son Hank is a soldier in the Army Airborne unit, and their daughter Ellie is training to be a nurs Forgiveness sets your heart free Karl and Marta Meyer immigrated from Germany to the U.S. and raised their two children in Utah. When Pear Harbor was bombed tensions grew tight in the U.S. Japanese American's and German American's were rounded up and sent to internment camps. One day the FBI came and arrested Karl and Marta and they were sent to an internment camp and then deported to Germany. Their son Hank is a soldier in the Army Airborne unit, and their daughter Ellie is training to be a nurse. The best friend of Ellie is Billie who lives with her grandmother across the street. Billie flies planes in the WASP which is a new division for women pilots. The story is about the horrors of war both in the U.S. and in Germany. How some citizens of the U.S. were treated as spies because of their place of birth. It tells of the conditions in the internment camps. It is a story of the Nazi's in Germany and the horrible acts they committed against innocent people. The sights our young soldiers saw that tormented them far after the war was over. How faith kept a soldier surviving in an awful prisoner of war camp and how he found it in his heart to forgive one of his tormentors. We see how families worry and grieve for each other when they are in danger and how much love and faith holds a family and friends together. The horrible part of war but also the goodness of people willing to help others. It is an inspirational story steeped in history. I loved the history briefs at the end of some of the chapters. I learned so much I did not know. It was a good story, well written and well researched. I would recommend this book. Thanks to Gary W. Toyn, American Legacy Media, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a complimentary copy of the book for my honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dianna

    It isn’t enough to say this was a wonderful book. It simply isn’t. I’m not sure I have words to do it justice, but I’m going to give it a try. I enjoy historical fiction very much, especially the WWII time period. One of the chief reasons is that it’s entertaining as well as informative. I’ve never come away from such a book without learning new information in a compelling and gripping way. For Malice and Mercy is a great example. For instance, I knew that many Japanese Americans we’re interred It isn’t enough to say this was a wonderful book. It simply isn’t. I’m not sure I have words to do it justice, but I’m going to give it a try. I enjoy historical fiction very much, especially the WWII time period. One of the chief reasons is that it’s entertaining as well as informative. I’ve never come away from such a book without learning new information in a compelling and gripping way. For Malice and Mercy is a great example. For instance, I knew that many Japanese Americans we’re interred and relocated during WWII, but I didn’t know the same was true of German Americans. That was the case with Karl and Marta Meyer, ripped from their home in the night, held without due process or charges, interred and ultimately deported to Germany. Could they have been treated more un-Americanly? Their children, Ella and Hank, left to pick up the pieces in a community that subsequently saw them as traitors. Still they carried on. Ella becoming a nurse and Hank enlisting in the Army Air Corps. Coming from a Mormon background in Utah, much of the trouble they experienced both in the community and trying to settle their beliefs against the realities of a cruel war presented an ongoing struggle. Hank, after being shot down, betrayed by his grandmother and sent to a POW camp lost faith. Through a set of “miraculous” events he found his way back and to Billie, a hometown girl, who herself had to find a way home. Wonderfully researched and written. Thank you Gary Toyn and NetGalley for the chance to read and offer my review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pat Trattles

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. And honestly, I couldn’t get into it. And I couldn’t quite figure it out because it had gotten several glowing reviews. And then it hit me – the book was 90% telling. I was not able to relate to the characters because I was rarely shown how they felt, what was important to them, what motivated them, but was told instead. Part of the problem, I think was the author tried to cover too much in one story. Rather than trying to interwea I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. And honestly, I couldn’t get into it. And I couldn’t quite figure it out because it had gotten several glowing reviews. And then it hit me – the book was 90% telling. I was not able to relate to the characters because I was rarely shown how they felt, what was important to them, what motivated them, but was told instead. Part of the problem, I think was the author tried to cover too much in one story. Rather than trying to interweave four stories into one novel it would have been better if he’d done a series, concentrating each on a different main character. That would have given the reader a chance to really get to know the characters. An irritating part was the use of historical notes at the end of many chapters. It was as if the author tried to justify what he’d written by saying, hey if you don’t believe me, this is what happened. I received an eARC so maybe these notes were intended as back matter but as presented they broke up the narrative and added no value. If I could I’d give this book a 2.5 rating as it did have some tense moments which elicited strong emotions on my part (even tears,) but unfortunately they were few and far between.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I have an absolute fascination with WWII, especially the pacific theater but I almost always seem to forget that there were, in fact, German Americans in the United States at the time. This is the story of the family of a naturalized German Family and their experiences during WWII. The book was well researched, something that the author reminded you at the end of chapters with historical notes. Now these notes, while useful, do have the potential to pull you out of the story if you are someone t I have an absolute fascination with WWII, especially the pacific theater but I almost always seem to forget that there were, in fact, German Americans in the United States at the time. This is the story of the family of a naturalized German Family and their experiences during WWII. The book was well researched, something that the author reminded you at the end of chapters with historical notes. Now these notes, while useful, do have the potential to pull you out of the story if you are someone that needs to just stay in the story. Karl and Marta are naturalized German immigrants that settled and raised a family in Utah. As WWII goes on tensions in the community arise and after the events of Pearl Harbor, the family finds themselves rounded up and sent to an internment camp by the FBI and eventually deported to Germany. Their son, Hank, went into the Army and their daughter, Ellie, was training to be a nurse. This story is about how the family has to work through these events. How they find themselves trying to survive in a world where it feels like no one wants them. Lives are tossed upside down, betrayal is just around the corner, and desperation drives. This book had a lot going on and could have easily been its own duology or trilogy with each book focused on just one group but that did not take away from the book in my opinion. In fact, it made the book something harder to put down because i wanted to know what happened next.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kim Fox

    Just when you think you have read every kind of WWII novel you could read, you are blindsided by one so good, so unique and written so well that you have to let everyone know!! For Malice And Mercy: A World War II Novel by Gary W. Toyn is a historical fiction novel, but based in historical fact. Mr. Toyn has told such a great story, complete with chapter notes, to provide historical context to his story. This is a story about Hank and Ella. They are son and daughter to German immigrants, Karl an Just when you think you have read every kind of WWII novel you could read, you are blindsided by one so good, so unique and written so well that you have to let everyone know!! For Malice And Mercy: A World War II Novel by Gary W. Toyn is a historical fiction novel, but based in historical fact. Mr. Toyn has told such a great story, complete with chapter notes, to provide historical context to his story. This is a story about Hank and Ella. They are son and daughter to German immigrants, Karl and Marta. Karl and Marta immigrated to the US, met each other and we're married, and had Hank and Ella. They become naturalized citizens and are living their life in America when Pearl Harbor is bombed by Japan. Once that happens the government starts to round up not only Japanese immigrants, but German ones as well(historical fact). This book follows Karl and Marta's arrest and internment in a P.O.W. Camp, Ella's life in becoming a nurse and Hanks life as an enlisted man in the Army Air Corps. There is so much to this book, as it follows their lives before, during and after the war. But what is most prevalent is the amazing amount of research done to tell this story. And just when you think you have learned everything about WWII along comes another book that teaches you something new. Thank you Mr. Toyn, for creating such an amazing book. 4⭐ Thank you to Netgalley, American Legacy and Gary W. Toyn for the eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bethany Smith

    Malice and Mercy is one of the best WWII books I have read! This WWII story is from the perspective of an American born of naturally born German parents who arrived in America after WWI, whose grandparents were still in Germany. The author did an exceptional job of weaving real history into the story of Hank, Ella, and Billie (a women)! Character development was superb. You will get to know Hank, who wants to join the military before his 18th birthday and how his father did not want him to. You Malice and Mercy is one of the best WWII books I have read! This WWII story is from the perspective of an American born of naturally born German parents who arrived in America after WWI, whose grandparents were still in Germany. The author did an exceptional job of weaving real history into the story of Hank, Ella, and Billie (a women)! Character development was superb. You will get to know Hank, who wants to join the military before his 18th birthday and how his father did not want him to. You will get to know Hank and Ella’s parents who are captured by the US and held in captivity during the war for being German born. You will get to know Billy a tom boy in the 1930s who becomes a WASP for the military (but not in the military). Ella is the one left behind to handle the abandoned farm, get her nursing degree and do what she needs to do in America. Truly inspiring and heartbreaking. There is a strong undertone of faith in this book. Because I received this book through NetGalley, I did not get the published version, I hope the notes are left in the published version, as the notes referring to the real people that the author borrowed the history from, made the book so real. I also highly recommend reading this rather than listening to it, as typically the audio versions do not highlight the notes or the author's notes and acknowledgements, which also added to the story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    For Malic and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn There is much history written in story format that I believe is written more for younger than older readers. The writing is simple and straightforward but for some reason did not “grab me” even though the story had potential to do so. I could not get into the story and found myself skimming ahead to see what would happen and how it would end. I chose not to invest more time to read word for word. I am sure that some will enjoy this book and learn much from it p For Malic and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn There is much history written in story format that I believe is written more for younger than older readers. The writing is simple and straightforward but for some reason did not “grab me” even though the story had potential to do so. I could not get into the story and found myself skimming ahead to see what would happen and how it would end. I chose not to invest more time to read word for word. I am sure that some will enjoy this book and learn much from it perhaps even being uplifted by reading it but, this book was not for me. Thank you to NetGalley and American Legacy Media for the ARC – This is my honest review. 2-3 Stars

  16. 4 out of 5

    merlin513

    This story is based on the true events that happened to the Meyer family of Ogden, Utah. A family of German-American immigrants and their trials pertaining to World War II. I believe that a LOT of people need to be made aware of the atrocities that the U.S. Government committed to the innocent families of German and Japanese descent during these trying years. My mother's best friend in childhood was a Japanese American girl in California. One day she went down the street to find the house torn ap This story is based on the true events that happened to the Meyer family of Ogden, Utah. A family of German-American immigrants and their trials pertaining to World War II. I believe that a LOT of people need to be made aware of the atrocities that the U.S. Government committed to the innocent families of German and Japanese descent during these trying years. My mother's best friend in childhood was a Japanese American girl in California. One day she went down the street to find the house torn apart and her friend's family and all the other Japanese families in that area were just....gone.... She never knew what became of her friend. My uncle, a respected doctor of medicine in Zanesville, Ohio received a phone call asking him about his German sympathies? His reply was, 'WHAT?, what's this about?' whereupon the caller said, 'your last name is Geist is it not? a German name?' Uncle Joe was quick to inform the caller that our surname was GIST and that we were originally from England! My uncle flew B1 bombers during the war and survived being shot down behind enemy lines more than once. History is doomed to repeat itself to those that take no heed of the past. Sad but true and in these trying times a book of this sort is desperately needed to show the evil deeds that 'good patriots' can visit on the innocent. I give "For Malice and Mercy' a 3.5 star review only on the condition that the writing of the book is somewhat clumsy. It's more a series of micro stories presenting the details than one unbroken storyline. There are multiple protagonists and the viewpoint jumps from one to another constantly. The events on the other hand are truly disturbing and need to be acknowledged. I thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read "For Malice and Mercy' and leave my honest personal review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    We all know the story, it's history, and we can't change it, but this book give us a look into happens that you really never hear about and most that I never knew. Do they make me unhappy, oh yes, and when you think about the enemy being your own country and fellow countrymen, it becomes both tragic and sad. I never knew about the German interment camps, just the Japanese, and what happened to American citizens, sad but true facts are revealed in this fictional story that is filled with true fact We all know the story, it's history, and we can't change it, but this book give us a look into happens that you really never hear about and most that I never knew. Do they make me unhappy, oh yes, and when you think about the enemy being your own country and fellow countrymen, it becomes both tragic and sad. I never knew about the German interment camps, just the Japanese, and what happened to American citizens, sad but true facts are revealed in this fictional story that is filled with true facts. We are on a journey of friendship, betrayal, torture, and finding forgiveness. A read to get lost in, and one that we need never forget what happens so history does not repeat. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher American Legacy Media, and was not required to give a positive review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lee Husemann

    What a captivating read this was! It does not get much better than this - a WWII Historical Fiction book based on real events. I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though I was a little intimidated by the length of it, but it flowed along so quickly. Ella and Hank Meyer are siblings born to German parents who moved to the US when they were young. Billie Russell is Ella's best friend and lives next door while Chester Bailey is a new neighbor who becomes close friends to all of them, especially Bil What a captivating read this was! It does not get much better than this - a WWII Historical Fiction book based on real events. I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though I was a little intimidated by the length of it, but it flowed along so quickly. Ella and Hank Meyer are siblings born to German parents who moved to the US when they were young. Billie Russell is Ella's best friend and lives next door while Chester Bailey is a new neighbor who becomes close friends to all of them, especially Billie. When the war starts, Chester enlists and Hank enlists when he is old enough. Billie becomes a pilot and delivers war planes while Ella becomes a nurse. The stories of these individuals are so intertwined with each other which makes this such an addictive read. I found the notes, at the end the chapters, very informative. Thank you NetGalley and American Legacy Media for the ARC of this fascinating book which was well researched and well written.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Inspired by real people and events, the author of For Malice and Mercy writes about atrocities which happened in America when the country joined WWII. After many chapters he includes research notes detailing true stories and details of the time, all fascinating to read. Though the stories contain brutal details, they are real. They happened to real people on every side of the war. Here we follow the story of one Jewish immigrant family from Germany who are Americans...and proud of it. Karl and M Inspired by real people and events, the author of For Malice and Mercy writes about atrocities which happened in America when the country joined WWII. After many chapters he includes research notes detailing true stories and details of the time, all fascinating to read. Though the stories contain brutal details, they are real. They happened to real people on every side of the war. Here we follow the story of one Jewish immigrant family from Germany who are Americans...and proud of it. Karl and Marta Meyer are living in Utah when they were suddenly taken from their homes and interned at Santa Anita where thousands of other Germans and Japanese were imprisoned as they were deemed as threats to America. They were eventually deported. Brother and sister Hank and Ella are alarmed at their parents' disappearance but their hands are tied. Hank is actively involved in the war effort in Europe. Their friend, Billie, is a WASP. Survival for all of them is life and death, in differing ways. I really like seeing several perspectives and learning much more about American internment camps. The Pentagon letter is riveting...I really had no idea. The historical details are incredible...often chilling, at times heartwarming. Lives were turned upside down, betrayal was rife and desperation drove people to do things they would never have contemplated earlier. It is obvious this author cares in his thoroughness and careful treatment of the topic. If you are intrigued by WWII in general, do read this book. I'm so glad I did! This is a remarkable look at history and the author brings is close to home, very personal and focused. My sincere thank you to American Legacy Media and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this informative and compelling book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I read For Malice and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn. This book is essentially about the treatment of loyal German-Americans and Japanese-Americans in America during the Second World War was beyond reprehensible. Of course there were those of German and Japanese descent who worked gladly as spies for their governments. Then there were those whose whole life had been lived as true loyal Americans, only to have their adopted country turn on them. Even good neighbors harbored suspicions and turned them in t I read For Malice and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn. This book is essentially about the treatment of loyal German-Americans and Japanese-Americans in America during the Second World War was beyond reprehensible. Of course there were those of German and Japanese descent who worked gladly as spies for their governments. Then there were those whose whole life had been lived as true loyal Americans, only to have their adopted country turn on them. Even good neighbors harbored suspicions and turned them in to the authorities for perceived subversive activities. This is the story of Karl and Marta Meyer, good American citizens whose neighbors brutally determined that they were a threat to America. The oldest son, Hank, joined the services in order to show his American loyalty. The parents, Karl and Marta were eventually taken from their farm and interred in a camp. Conditions there were less than good and eventually the two were sent back to Germany. There they lived the war as it happened with their relatives. I could tell more, but the story itself is so intriguing and suspenseful that I don’t think it would serve the future reader’s full enjoyment of reading the book. I loved the book and the author certainly did a wonderful job of keeping the reader involved to the end. I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for my honest review. You can find this review on my blog at https://wp.me/p2pjIt-CG. Reviews of other books can be found at http://imhookedonbooks.wordpress.com.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gayle

    The story is about the families of Karl and Marta Meyer, their neighbors and friends in rural Utah. Billie Russell is a free spirit who wants to learn to fly and is able to to take lessons at the local airfield. Billie ends up being a pilot in the WASP's program. Her best friend, Ella Meyer has desires to be a nurse. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, America declares war and everyone wants to do their part in the war effort. Hank , Ella's brother, is not old enougih to enlist. Hank argues wi The story is about the families of Karl and Marta Meyer, their neighbors and friends in rural Utah. Billie Russell is a free spirit who wants to learn to fly and is able to to take lessons at the local airfield. Billie ends up being a pilot in the WASP's program. Her best friend, Ella Meyer has desires to be a nurse. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, America declares war and everyone wants to do their part in the war effort. Hank , Ella's brother, is not old enougih to enlist. Hank argues with his parents to sign the papers to enlist. and join with his friends to do his part in the war. With the advice from his Uncle Willy, Hank is later able to join the Army Air Corp. Karl and Marta immigrated to America from Germany after the Great War. They have made a nice home in Huntville, Utah. Their world is turned upside down when the FBI come and take them to an internment camp. The details of the story continue with the lives of these characters and how the war affects them. I enjey this story and appreciated the footnotes at the end of the chapters with the details of the research the author had done. I appreciated the realistic distriptions of the events that happened during this time period. I also appreciated the details of the religious practices of the characters. As I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I could relate to the life style they discribed. I also was familiar with the interment camps for the Japanese but was unaware of the camps for the Germans.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julie Pint

    Talk about an epic novel detailing a family - and each member’s contribution- to the war effort during WWII. We get to experience the era from multiple perspectives, including as a prisoner of war. What do you do when the world is in turmoil, and all that you have come to know is tossed on its head? The piece of historical fiction uses specific resources to bring a sense of authenticity to the story and its one that I need to absorb. This book not only looks at the bravery of the American forces Talk about an epic novel detailing a family - and each member’s contribution- to the war effort during WWII. We get to experience the era from multiple perspectives, including as a prisoner of war. What do you do when the world is in turmoil, and all that you have come to know is tossed on its head? The piece of historical fiction uses specific resources to bring a sense of authenticity to the story and its one that I need to absorb. This book not only looks at the bravery of the American forces, but also asks the reader to dissect what the government did to those of German and Japanese heritage here in America. It’s a great reminder that we are all flawed. Thanks to NetGalley for the early read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dona Bee

    This engrossing novel is a family saga of the Meyer family, who were born in Germany, became US Citizens and started their family in the US, and how each one was affected by WWII both in Europe and their hometown in Utah. I’ve read numerous books about WWII, both fiction and non-fiction, and this author touched me to my core like no other. I learned about the horrible detention camps for US citizens here in the USA where Americans were treated horrendously due to their heritage. I found this part This engrossing novel is a family saga of the Meyer family, who were born in Germany, became US Citizens and started their family in the US, and how each one was affected by WWII both in Europe and their hometown in Utah. I’ve read numerous books about WWII, both fiction and non-fiction, and this author touched me to my core like no other. I learned about the horrible detention camps for US citizens here in the USA where Americans were treated horrendously due to their heritage. I found this particular storyline to be upsetting and shocking as I never realized that Americans were treated so badly during the war on their own soil. I particularly enjoyed the author’s notes at the end of each chapter which gave the true account of events that occurred in the chapter. These notes made this historical fiction novel come to life, tugging at one’s heart when realizing these things happened to real people. If you’re a fan of WWII, this one needs to be on your TBR list! Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to review this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    From 1939 to 1945, we follow the Meyer family from Huntsville, Utah. The parents, Marta and Karl, were born in Germany, but are now naturalized citizens, and their children were both born in America. In 1942, the parents are arrested by the FBI under the Alien Enemies Act, suspected of collaborating with German intelligence. They are illegally imprisoned, soon finding themselves in Crystal City, Texas, a detention camp, and are finally deported back to their homeland in Germany, as part of a pri From 1939 to 1945, we follow the Meyer family from Huntsville, Utah. The parents, Marta and Karl, were born in Germany, but are now naturalized citizens, and their children were both born in America. In 1942, the parents are arrested by the FBI under the Alien Enemies Act, suspected of collaborating with German intelligence. They are illegally imprisoned, soon finding themselves in Crystal City, Texas, a detention camp, and are finally deported back to their homeland in Germany, as part of a prisoner exchange. The plight of Japanese Americans, held in detention on the West coast of California is more well known than that of German Americans, but the situations are remarkably similar. Late-night arrests, imprisonment without charges being filed, transportation to internment camps which are miles from anything, surrounded by barbed wire, and watched over by machine-gun carrying guards. This is an intimate portrait of the Meyer family: parents, children Hank and Ella, and their friend Billie, and is chilling in its authenticity. Reading it, my emotions ran the gamut from anger through exhilaration to fear, excitement, anticipation, exasperation. Painstakingly researched, by a man who "always thought of myself as a non-fiction writer", this effectively draws the reader into the plight of "nearly eleven thousand ethnic Germans who were sent to internment camps like Crystal City. Many were naturalized American citizens who were unjustifiably stripped of their constitutional rights". By 1945, no one was left unchanged. I read this EARC courtesy of American Legacy Media and Edelweiss. pub date 09/15/21

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Garbe

    Like the author, I am a fan of World War II books. “For Malice and Mercy” is a story of the Meyer family and a few of their friends in the years from 1939 through 1945. The parents, Karl and Marta are arrested and sent to an internment camp for several years. They are stripped of their status as U.S. naturalized citizens and ultimately deported against their will to war-torn Germany where they are arrested as spies. The Meyer children, Hank and Ella were born in the U.S., thus avoiding internment Like the author, I am a fan of World War II books. “For Malice and Mercy” is a story of the Meyer family and a few of their friends in the years from 1939 through 1945. The parents, Karl and Marta are arrested and sent to an internment camp for several years. They are stripped of their status as U.S. naturalized citizens and ultimately deported against their will to war-torn Germany where they are arrested as spies. The Meyer children, Hank and Ella were born in the U.S., thus avoiding internment, but they suffer the loss of their parents as teenagers and have to take care of their home and farm to avoid foreclosure. Hank joins the Air Force when he is old enough and ends up as a prisoner of war, while Ella manages to get through nursing school. The third storyline is Ella’s best friend Billie, who learns to fly and becomes a member of the WASPS (Women Airforce Service Pilots) and experiences the joys and dangers of flying military planes all around the U.S. The author did years of research and provided extensive notes referencing the actual people and events that make up this story. This book is an impressive labor of love and reading it provided new insights into the war, but I felt there were several individual stories packed into one rather extensive book and perhaps a trilogy would have been easier on readers. I received a free eARC for my voluntary honest review from NetGalley. I am very happy to have read this book, but it is lengthy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Buckley

    For Malice and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn is that rarity, a novel based on historical fact that is still a novel, weaving together two families’ wartime experiences. The characters are believable and fully developed against an equally vivid and fascinating background. For those who take an interest in historical accuracy, Mr. Toyn has listed the records, documents, memoirs, and other sources for each incident. The only way it could have been improved was by careful copy editing, and yes, I am picky a For Malice and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn is that rarity, a novel based on historical fact that is still a novel, weaving together two families’ wartime experiences. The characters are believable and fully developed against an equally vivid and fascinating background. For those who take an interest in historical accuracy, Mr. Toyn has listed the records, documents, memoirs, and other sources for each incident. The only way it could have been improved was by careful copy editing, and yes, I am picky about typos, Saxon genitives, and (lack of) punctuation. Even beyond its human and historical interest, For Malice and Mercy is scarily relevant today, when propaganda and fear can still lead to hate and acts of cruelty. Netgalley sent me an ARC for my unbiased review of For Malice and Mercy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    I’ve read many WW2 novels but this one, which is inspired by true events, is a little known story which exposes the mistreatment from officials of the US Government. It’s a full bodied story about a German family living in Utah and the events and ramifications of WW2 that occur. Gary W Toyn took 4 years of meticulous research, including visiting the locations, to write ‘For Malice and Murder’, which was inspired by his friend’s war time story and what a story it is, full of historical facts whic I’ve read many WW2 novels but this one, which is inspired by true events, is a little known story which exposes the mistreatment from officials of the US Government. It’s a full bodied story about a German family living in Utah and the events and ramifications of WW2 that occur. Gary W Toyn took 4 years of meticulous research, including visiting the locations, to write ‘For Malice and Murder’, which was inspired by his friend’s war time story and what a story it is, full of historical facts which anchor the real horrors and consequences that were experienced through WW2 on a level that is quite unbelievable. A memorable book, prepared to be shocked, saddened and disbelieving of the terrible crimes committed however, the thread throughout the book is faith. Big thanks to Gary W Toyn, American Legacy Media and NetGalley for this eARC which I chose to read in return for my honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Nichols

    This is a very interesting and well-researched novel. I learned a lot about the internment of Germans and the further treatment of Germans in the US. It surprised me that naturalized citizens had their citizenship stripped so easily. I also learned a lot about the WASPS. That was fascinating. Overall, the only thing I found distracting was the focus on faith and the Mormon church.

  29. 4 out of 5

    ScottieDawg

    A story of forgiveness from an unforgiving time in history reminds us how easily malice can take root. “A little prejudice turns into a lot of mistrust, then hatred, then violence.” There are so many WWII books – an all too fascinating, all too horrifying, all too heart-breaking period in history. Although I never tire of another WWII book, it can easily become exactly that; just another book. For Malice and Mercy: A World War II Novel, was both unique and unexpected. Readers, such as myself, hav A story of forgiveness from an unforgiving time in history reminds us how easily malice can take root. “A little prejudice turns into a lot of mistrust, then hatred, then violence.” There are so many WWII books – an all too fascinating, all too horrifying, all too heart-breaking period in history. Although I never tire of another WWII book, it can easily become exactly that; just another book. For Malice and Mercy: A World War II Novel, was both unique and unexpected. Readers, such as myself, have become accustomed, and dare I say desensitized, to the typical, often (auto)biographical, testament(s) given to the unthinkable torture-and-survival internment-camp story. Author Gary W. Toyn brings several surprising – less commonly known – bits of American history to broader light in this novel. Japanese-American internment is well-known, well-documented and well-taught within the U.S. History education curriculum. From my school days however, I do not recall learning anything about German-American internment. If mentioned, I had zero awareness – until reading this novel – of the (view spoiler)[denaturalization and deportation of German-American’s who, post VE Day, received invitation from the U.S.A. government to return to America on the condition of signing an Oath of Secrecy – promise never to speak of their arrest, internment or deportation. (hide spoiler)] In addition to learning of the Oath of Secrecy, this novel brought me a deeper knowledge of the impressive accomplishments of the civilian WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilot) organization. It’s infuriating to learn the greatest threat posed to the WASP was internal. Facing sabotage from our very own male servicemen, all-the-while having no military standing, makes it all the more difficult to believe it took until 2009 for the WASP to be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal and accorded full veteran status. Thank you American Legacy Media for the ARC!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Tell

    I have very mixed feelings on this book. It was really well written, and fascinating, yet I didn't get any of the "feels" and almost felt like I was reading a super interesting history book. First, this tells the story of a family and close friends of theirs. It tells their story from multiple points of view, which I love. But it's not just any family that's central to the story - it is a German family living in American during WW2. There would be a chapter, or a few chapters from one point of v I have very mixed feelings on this book. It was really well written, and fascinating, yet I didn't get any of the "feels" and almost felt like I was reading a super interesting history book. First, this tells the story of a family and close friends of theirs. It tells their story from multiple points of view, which I love. But it's not just any family that's central to the story - it is a German family living in American during WW2. There would be a chapter, or a few chapters from one point of view. Then there would be footnotes that explained how close to true life these events were and what really occurred. Then the next chapter/section would be about a different character. It was really well researched, and it was totally fascinating. But.... I also felt like the author took some super interesting, lesser known facts about events that occurred and built the story around them. So I didn't get a good flow from the book. For instance, there may be a true event where the plan of a female pilot was sabotaged. In the story, one of the characters was there when this happened. Then the footnote would tell the story of the incident. I learned a lot about history, and how German Americans and female pilots were treated and I was shocked. That being said, I couldn't stop reading - I had to know what happened next. I really enjoyed this book, but wanted more of a connection to the characters.

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