Well-researched Political Thriller,
This review is from: Endangered Eagle (Paperback)
Berlin, July 1936. Germany has risen to power with Hitler at the helm of the Third Reich. All eyes focus on Germany's political and military renaissance and it is imperative that Germany presents the right image to the world. The Summer Olympics will be held in Berlin, with the opening ceremony on 1 August, 1936. Hundreds of thousands of visitors will be there. In a well-timed publicity stunt, General Hermann Goering, Commander-in-chief of the German Air Force invites the famous American Colonel Charles Lindbergh, the `Lone Eagle,' to visit Germany. After the kidnapping and death of their baby son, the Lindberghs moved to England to escape the press. British intelligence would dearly love to see exactly how far Herr Hitler is with building his air power. No one has managed to get inside any of the Luftwaffe facilities yet. Col. Lindbergh would be the perfect pair of eyes. So, all systems are a go until German intelligence discovers a plot to assassinate the famous flyer on German soil. Not only would that cause an international furore, but also would severely discredit the "new" Germany. It is impossible to cancel Lindbergh's visit because that would imply the German security is defective.
General Goering turns to Karl von Ernst, a former Chief Inspector in the Berlin Police, to find the answer and stop the attempt on Lindbergh's life. Karl must unravel the plot, which includes an exiled Nazi group working out of Prague, Berlin's largest crime ring and a mystery man, who initiated the plan to kill Lindbergh. His investigations are hampered by the constant interference of Reinhard Heydrich, of the SS, the Nazi Party's infamous police force, and one of General Goering's chief rivals for power within the Nazi hierarchy. Karl must find out the when, where, and how of the assassination attempt and, most importantly, why anyone would want to kill Lindbergh.
The author magnificently portrays pre-World War II Germany. The wild scrambling for power within the German High Command, the internecine warfare between various political factions, the burgeoning criminal underworld with its own network of hierarchies and delineated `turfs' all serve to illuminate the world within which Karl von Ernst must do his job. There is a deep sense of the complete terror in which ordinary Germans lived in that era, with fear and suspicion pervading every aspect of life. Karl is a sterling character, seemingly incorruptible, and not afraid to stand by his principles. The author takes readers into Karl's head as he turns over every snippet of information, unravels threads, creates theories, and comes up against dead ends. Tension increases as precious time ticks by in a cat and mouse game, and still the perpetrator remains at large. Apart from distracting editing issues, this is a well-researched historical novel with much to satisfy fans of military history, mystery novels, and political thrillers.
First reviewed for Readers Favorite by Fiona I.