Category Archives: Defending Britta Stein

Review: Defending Britta Stein by Ronald H. Balson

Title: Defending Britta Stein by Ronald H. Balson
Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart Series Book Six
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Defending Britta Stein is a story of bravery, betrayal, and redemption—from Ronald H. Balson, the winner of the National Jewish Book Award

Chicago, 2018: Ole Henryks, a popular restauranteur, is set to be honored by the Danish/American Association for his many civic and charitable contributions. Frequently appearing on local TV, he is well known for his actions in Nazi-occupied Denmark during World War II—most consider him a hero.

Britta Stein, however, does not. The ninety-year-old Chicago woman levels public accusations against Henryks by spray-painting “Coward,” “Traitor,” “Collaborator,” and “War Criminal” on the walls of his restaurant. Mrs. Stein is ultimately taken into custody and charged with criminal defacement of property. She also becomes the target of a bitter lawsuit filed by Henryks and his son, accusing her of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Attorney Catherine Lockhart, though hesitant at first, agrees to take up Mrs. Stein’s defense. With the help of her investigator husband, Liam Taggart, Lockhart must reach back into wartime Denmark and locate evidence that proves Mrs. Stein’s innocence. Defending Britta Stein is critically-acclaimed author Ronald H. Balson’s thrilling take on a modern day courtroom drama, and a masterful rendition of Denmark’s wartime heroics.


Defending Britta Stein by Ronald H. Balson is an engrossing novel with a dual storyline.

In 2018, Danish immigrant Ole Henryks owns a popular restaurant in Chicago. He is well liked and he is honored to be a recipient of an award from the local Danish community.  Ole is well-known for his feats of heroism in Denmark during World War II which is why everyone is shocked when spray painted words on the outside of his business cast aspersions on his wartime actions.

Britta Stein is also an immigrant from Denmark and she does not deny she  defaced Ole’s restaurant. But why would she spray paint what appear to be carefully selected words on Ole’s business? Britta is not at all concerned when Ole hires an attorney to sue her for defamation. Catherine Lockhart agrees to represent Britta and becomes very captivated by her client’s storytelling.  Cat’s strategy to win the case rests on her husband Liam Taggart’s ability to find records and other information that prove Britta’s innocence. With just a short time to prepare the case, Cat and Liam are soon in a race against time to find evidence to back up Britta’s wartime recollections.

Britta weaves an enthralling story about the Nazi occupation of Denmark during World War II. Not much changes in Denmark initally due to an agreement between the two countries. But the Danish resistance fighters immediately begin efforts to sabotage the German’s war efforts. Britta’s family is Jewish but they are left in peace until Germany changes the terms of the agreement. The Danish people’s reaction is truly remarkable as they work hard to protect their fellow countrymen from Nazi atrocities. Britta’s memories paint a damning picture but will Liam find the proof they need to reveal the truth about Ole’s actions?

Defending Britta Stein is an inspirational novel with a meticulously researched storyline. Britta never wavers as she tells her lawyer granddaughter Emma Fisher and Catherine about her life during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. She details the harrowing days leading up their escape from the Denmark. Liam utilizes every resource available to him as he hunts for evidence to prove Britta’s accusations about Ole are true. Catherine absolutely shines in the courtroom as she vigorously fights on behalf of her client. With this newest release, Ronald H. Balson once again brings a little known aspect of World War II vividly to life.

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Filed under Contemporary, Defending Britta Stein, Fiction, Historical, Rated B, Review, Ronald H Balson, St Martin's Press