Bonnier Zaffre| 23 January 2020| 339 pages| e-book| review copy via NetGalley| 4 stars
Description from the author’s website:
In late autumn 1941, Nazi Germany has conquered most of western Europe and is now laying waste to the Soviet Union with a relentless drive towards the East. But a secret from Hitler’s past life threatens to destabilise the Nazi regime – and there are men who will stop at nothing to prevent it coming out.
I enjoyed Rory Clements’ first book in his Tom Wilde series, Corpus so much that I decided to look out for more of his books. But somehow I missed the next two books as Hitler’s Secret is the fourth book in the series. Luckily for me, it reads perfectly as a standalone, although at some point I would like to read the books I missed.
This is a complicated novel and I am not going to attempt to describe all the details. Just before the USA’s entry into the Second World War, Cambridge professor Tom Wilde, an American, is smuggled into Nazi Germany at the instigation of an American intelligence officer to collect a mysterious package from Berlin. He isn’t told what is in the package, but I thought it was obvious from quite early in the book what it was. I think that increased the tension and suspense throughout the book and at several points in the story, I just couldn’t imagine how Tom would succeed in his mission as he is pursued by numerous people including the powerful Nazi, Martin Borman and his agents. Hermann Goering and his wife Emmy also play an important role in the story as does the internal struggle for power under Hitler, whereas Hitler himself does not appear.
I enjoyed all of it – the somewhat predictable plot, the amazing coincidences, the chase across Germany and the Baltic, the doubtful characters, as well as all the twists and turns and seemingly impossible situations that they encounter. It’s fast paced, full of action, danger, violence and double-cross – a most satisfying and compelling thriller. The ending in England is also intriguing, full of heart stopping moments in scenes that had my head whirling. Needless to say really, but I was gripped by this book and I just had to find out what happened. I think the last final twist about Hitler’s secret was very well done.
4 thoughts on “Hitler’s Secret by Rory Clements”
It sounds like a very suspenseful story, Margaret. The context, the premise, the whole thing sounds like a very solid thriller. And, as you know, I do like historical novels where the author ‘does the homework,’ but doesn’t overburden the reader with detail. It sounds like Clements strikes that balance here. I’m glad you enjoyed this.
Well that sounds like quite a ride! I like anything set around the war so will keep an eye out for it in the library.
Since I absolutely enjoy reading spy and war fiction, especially WWI&II and the Cold War, as well as historical fiction, I’m certain I’ll like “Hitler’ Secret” too. Berlin and London make for a fascinating pre- and post-WWII setting. I’m glad the book is available on NetGalley.
Not sure if this one is for me, but maybe my husband would like it. Great review!
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