“Dense and yet compelling, Boyd's prose and detail make for a read that is witty and paced just right
as it weaves through modern history in a way that I have not seen since Dorothy Dunnett
conquered the events of the late Middle Ages.” Amazon 4 Stars
THE REFLECTING MAN
"Boyd’s skill at weaving exposition into his narrative is so great that the large and complicated plot
moves forward very smoothly. Watching 20th century history unfold through the unmistakable
viewpoint of Kurtis De’ath would be a treat for any lover of well-done historical fiction.
Promised sequels are eagerly anticipated.” Historical Novel Society
"To choose one’s victims, to prepare one’s plans minutely, to stake an implacable vengeance upon the world...there is nothing sweeter in the world."
"You will never learn what I am thinking. And those who boast most loudly that they know my thought, to such people I lie even more."
"The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events… incompetent or arrogant commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant fortune, ugly surprise, and awful miscalculations."
“Style is very different from the late and lamented Dorothy Dunnett, but the feel of being taken for an ultimate ride through events that fascinate and prove gripping even when known are the same.” Amazon
“The Reflecting Man vaulted to my Top Ten books of the year and the announced sequel[s] became a huge ASAP. Highly, highly recommended. Goodreads 5 Stars
“Boyd paints a convincing picture of Nazi depravity with his detailed descriptions of Germany under the Third Reich [with] a fascinating protagonist.”
Set in multiple locales in Canada, America, France, Germany, and England, before and during the Second World War, The Reflecting Man is the antic, ribald journey of a loquacious and unreliable narrator, Kurtis De’ath, from the Maritimes in Canada, whose unusual talents lead him into the innermost circles of Hitler’s Third Reich and Churchill’s British government. Kurtis’ journey through the roots and branches of actual historical figures and events is, at its heart, in meticulous detail, an examination of how Europe went to war in 1939. The Reflecting Man is himself a reflection of his times. The novel is widely and deeply researched, employing hundreds of non-fiction accounts, journals, and diaries of actual participants and observers of the darkening clouds over Europe and the descent into war.
The Reflecting Man: Volume One
ISBN: 9781987914054 (Trade Paper)
ISBN: 9781987914061 (Digital: iBooks, Kindle, Kobo)
In 1922, in a small town in the Maritimes, an unusual boy with an unusual name is adopted by a Baptist family of chocolate makers. With his copy of Plain Facts for Young and Old by the cereal king, Dr. Kellogg, to guide him, young Kurtis De’ath, a natural polyglot, comes to terms with a world he has only experienced through reading. At work in the family business, he becomes highly skilled at crafting Bird Bonz, and befriends Cinnamon Jim, a family relation of low I.Q. and phenomenal sales ability, who teaches Kurtis how to look-see, the art of deciphering people’s predilections and, ominously, how to fulfill them. At the beginning of the Great Depression, in Montréal he opens a tutoring business in a boarding house managed by Madame Laframboise, whose nephew is emerging Quebecois Jesuit poet, Francois Hertel. Kurtis is enticed by Lord Beaverbrook to join the Toronto Star and, later, to travel to Germany for the Toronto Globe with colleague, Erland Echland. They interview the rising man of Europe, Mr. Adolf Hitler, who is intrigued by ‘Herr Death.’ A free ticket to Wagner’s Siegfried at the Bayreuth Festival leads to a job as private secretary to Winifred Wagner and the Shokoladenmann, maker of fine chocolates for the four Wagner children. A master of detail, Kurtis probes the people and perversions at the very heart of National Socialism, not the least of whom, Adolf Hitler, has plans for his mysterious new confidant, Herr Death.
The Reflecting Man: Volume Two
ISBN: 9781987914030 (Trade Paper)
ISBN: 9781987914047 (Digital: iBooks, Kindle, Kobo)
In January of 1936, our loquacious and unreliable narrator, Kurtis De’ath arrives in London on the orders of Adolf Hitler. Kurtis is loaded with secrets, confections, and more than a few mysteries. Closeting his other identities (Herr Death, mysterious confidant of Adolf Hitler, and the Wagner Family’s Shokoladenmann, dispenser of the delightful Bird Bonz), he becomes fellow Maritimer, Lord Beaverbrook’s gossip columnist for the Daily Express and is immediately drawn into the political and social British maelstrom of Abdication and Appeasement. Deftly working his way through the class and clutter of English society as Kurtis Tod, he does his best to keep old friends (Erl Echland, Ulrich Roller, Bella Fromm), make new ones (Tom Driberg, William Joyce, ‘Huge’ Castlerosse), confound his enemies (Joseph Ball, Maxwell Knight, Josef Goebbels), and to derive some sense out of it all as the world edges even closer to a second Great War. And, when things get a little nasty, it may be that Kurtis De’ath is just the fellow you want on your side.
“I’m enjoying it! A long book, but keeps you going through entertaining, believable and endearing personalities. I recommend it for a bedtime read.” Amazon
The Reflecting Man: Volume Three
ISBN: 9781987914016 (Trade Paper)
ISBN: 9781987914023 (Digital: iBooks, Kindle, Kobo)
In late 1937, our loquacious and unreliable narrator, Kurtis De’ath returns to Germany, where he prepares for a trip with Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, to Moscow. On his own with orders from Adolf Hitler (and Sir Joseph Ball), Kurtis probes the unspeakable secrets of the Holodomor, the man-made, deliberate starvation of four million men, women, and children in the Ukraine. He matches wits with the NKVD and Stalin himself. As the Nazis annexe Austria and Joseph Chamberlain tries to avoid war, it is Kurtis who shines a light on the darkest secrets on all sides as the slide into open conflict continues.
"'When I hear a ripping tale I do like to pass it along,' says Kurtis De’ath, and the bulk of The Reflecting Man consists of one ripping tale after another. This is infectiously readable stuff." - Historical Novel Society