Truth and Evil by G. Edward Martin

Review by Luke

In World War II, a German soldier dies after committing a grave crime. Facing God’s judgment, he’s sent back to Earth to alter his actions and comprehend truth and evil. His journey entails confronting the embodiment of lies and exploring humanity’s capacity for both evil and courage. Through numerous trials, his soul is transformed, ultimately shaping history. (Con'd)

The introduction called to mind cliché old jokes about a man standing confessing before Saint Peter, hoping to get into the Pearly Gates. I thought this book was going in that direction, and I could not have been more wrong. This novelette of fifty-nine pages was easy to read, memorable, and brief.

Edward Martin's dark and gripping tale, "Truth and Evil: A Historical Fiction Novelette Set During WW2," caters exclusively to mature audiences. It explores the complexities of human nature, shedding light on its virtuous and vicious facets and highlighting their inseparable interconnection. If topics such as sex crimes, religion, or war are triggers, this book is not recommended. Martin presents God and heaven, which I thought would be from a Christian perspective, but it is not. This novelette is reminiscent of the movie Ground Hog Day, except, unlike Bill Murray, the main character engages in profound conversations with God prior to the gift of a do-over, which I found quite moving.

Truth And Evil felt rushed. It seemed like the author hurried through scenes to impart lessons on morality, resulting in abbreviated narration of settings and scenes. This left me wanting. The main character did not have a name and was only referred to as ‘young man.’ Descriptions of his appearance would have shown me his thoughts. Martin does quite a lot of telling, which makes this easy to read but not as enjoyable to unpack.

The author provides ample internal dialogue (written in italics to indicate it is internal) for the unnamed protagonist. Accompanying dialogue tags are unnecessary, and the text would be improved if they were removed. Reading this book was like a hard dive into shallow waters that I wish were deeper so I could swim around down there and discover more. I believe Martin has plenty of leeway for a sequel, such as when the farmer’s children are older and must make their own critical decisions.

Overall, Truth and Evil: A Historical Fiction Novelette Set During WW2 is an engrossing short story about morality, spirituality, and choice. It examines the conscious mind and heart at war within a war. 

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