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I was in the far corner of the woods, setting snares, when the siren started.
I stopped.
Crouched low with my arms out, my fingers laying the wire in the right position, I stopped dead.
I was quite far from the village – over the fields and deep in the trees – but that terrible noise reached right across to me. As if it was looking for me. Just me. It started as a single tone, a sound so frightening it almost made my heart freeze. Then it grew louder as it warmed up, the tone falling and rising. Falling and rising. A second siren joined it a few moments later, then a third, so all the village sirens were screaming at the sky.

About the book

Summer, 1941. For Peter, the war is a long way away, being fought by a faceless enemy.

Until the night a German plane is shot down over woods that his missing dad once looked after before he went off to fight.

Peter rushes to the crash site, where he finds a young and injured German airman.

And helping him seems like the only right thing to do ...

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Press reviews

“ … An exciting, thought-provoking book.”


“ ... grabbed me from page one … Dan Smith obviously knows his history”


“... this is an intense, thought-provoking, and deeply satisfying read.”


Author notes

'I loved writing this book for lots of reasons. My Friend the Enemy isn't about me or anyone I know, but it feels incredibly personal and I came to know the two main characters, Peter and Kim, very well while I was writing about them. I'm also fascinated by the history of WWII and the strength of the people who endured the hardship of such a terrible and massive war. It must have been both exciting and terrifying for children to have lived with the constant bombing and fear that their fathers and brothers and uncles would never come home. My own grandfather was a captain in the British Army during WWII, my grandmother's sister was an anti-aircraft gunner in the ATS and my great-grandfather was the Secretary of State for War in 1945, so there's a bit of family history there too ...'

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Lithuania, USA, World English Language Audio