The Punished

December 1943

Britain invades itself

Nightmare becomes reality

For the Henson family

Will love survive?

The occupation of Tyneham begins.

The Punished – Cy Forrest’s first novel in 12 years.

England, 1943, three years after Dunkirk. Commanding Officer Hulford-Prandy forces rebel Jack to handle BLISS, a deadly chemical weapon. Jack falls in love with radar operator Gin, but so does Hulford-Prandy who inveigles her into the Special Operations Executive, sending her to destroy a munitions factory in France. She’s captured and disappears.

Forty years later. City high-flyer Alexis meets three veiled women at her mother’s funeral who want to know what happened to her mother, Gin, during the war. Alexis knows nothing, but when she’s scattering Gin’s ashes in the ghost village of Tyneham, as requested by Gin, she meets a loner, Aidan, who claims BLISS is still there.

As Alexis and Aidan get closer to the truth, they find their lives in danger. When he enters the live firing range where BLISS is located, his preoccupation becomes deadly.

The Punished is a journey in four parts. Jack’s conversion from rebellious eighteen-year-old to peace campaigner; his son Aidan’s search for the truth; Gin’s journey from naive but plucky eighteen-year-old to secret war hero, risking her life many times over with a grenade in her pocket; and her daughter Alexis’s transformation from downtrodden to triumphant and courageous woman.

“I came away with a new understanding of the world generally – which is one of the most wonderful things a book can do – namely how real lives get relegated to the past and what is remembered, whilst factual, barely scratches the surface of feeling what it was like to be one of these people in such extreme circumstances … We are fallible, partial and we see the world through our own filters. Added to that, forces are at work to deliberately obfuscate and bury the truth and ultimately, the full picture is forever out of our reach. However, this story allows one person to see a greater whole: the reader, which I think is an immensely powerful possibility.” – Cornerstones

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