Tony Homer

About the author

A.R. Homer has been fascinated with World War II all his life. A native of Birmingham, England, he grew up hearing stories of ration books and shortages, of the bomb that almost destroyed his parents' house, and of his father's service in the Royal Air Force. As a history major at Oxford University, he developed a serious interest in World War II. Later, he moved to Normandy, France, where he occasionally gave tours of the battlefields. He and his wife divide their time between New Jersey and Key West.

In 2006, Homer received the Distinguished Honor Award from the Military Writers Society of America (

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Comments from the author:

“Simply put, World War II was the greatest defining moment of recent history, a time when millions of ordinary men and women had to test their mettle in confrontation with a tyranny never before imagined and never after forgotten.

When Rome Falls

“My latest novel, When Rome Falls, is set in a period and place I find fascinating. From September, 1943 to June, 1944, Rome was occupied by Germany, Italy’s former ally. Mussolini had been ousted, Italy declared an armistice, the king fled, and Allied POWs flooded into the city to hide when their Italian guards walked off the job. During these nine months, the Vatican remained neutral, Italian fascists continued their collaboration with the Nazis, the Roman Jewish community endured a brutal roundup, and the Resistance fought the enemy with cunning and valor.

I spent many months researching this period. In Rome, I met the daughter-in-law of a heroine of the Resistance (the elevator scene in my novel is modeled after something that happened in her home) and in the Jewish ghetto I spoke to a survivor of the roundup who had lost his whole family. I also had a private tour of the Via Tasso Gestapo headquarters by the director of the Historic Museum of the Liberation of Rome and I visited Regina Coeli, where Jews and Resistance members were imprisoned, Fort Bravetta, where they were shot, and the Ardeatine Caves, where 335 innocent men and boys were murdered in reprisal for a an attack on a German column. All the while I kept thinking, “This is a story that must be told.”

The Devil's Alchemists

“In Look Long into the Abyss, I try evoke the horrific chaos that reigned in the war’s last days when dedicated men and women travelled close behind the front lines to rescue looted art the Nazis had hidden in tunnels, mines, and castles.

The Devil's Alchemists

The Devil’s Alchemists explores two aspects of the war – seemingly unrelated – that have always fascinated me: the failure of the Germans, who had both the raw materials and the expertise, to develop an atom bomb, and the rescue of virtually all of Denmark’s Jews.

The Mirror of Diana

“In The Sobs of Autumn’s Violins I focus on the men and women who so bravely – and, indeed, so miraculously – managed to keep the secret of D-day safe.

The Mirror of Diana

“And in my first book, The Mirror of Diana, I explore what it might have been like to have been a loyal German soldier who despised Nazism but was inescapably caught up in its ghastliness.

“I include love stories in my tales of World War II because I'm touched by the juxtaposition of the most sublime human emotion with the most dreadful human activity. Even in war people manage to fall in love, although war upsets lives and often throws together people who, in peacetime, would never cross paths. The love stories in my novels reflect this paradox.”

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