Fatherland Paperback – 1 Oct 2009
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"Clever and ingenious... Its breeding is by Orwell, out of P. D. James, a detective story inside a future shock" (Daily Mail)
"Gripping in the way John Buchan, Len Deighton and John LeCarré are. The writing is superb. This novel lifts its author into a new and superior class" (The Times)
"The highest form of thriller... non-stop excitement" (The Times)
"Powerful and chilling... convincing in every detail" (Daily Telegraph)
"A writer who handles suspense like a literary Alfred Hitchcock" (Guardian)
What if Hitler had won the war? A gripping, number one bestselling historical thriller from the award-winning master of the literary thriller genre: Robert Harris.See all Product description
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'Enigma' well deserves the five stars that I, and many other reviewers, gave it. I had expected that his earlier thriller 'Fatherland' would be just as good - many reviewers consider it even better - but, unfortunately, I was less than impressed.
Robert Harris builds his story around a post-World War II Europe ruled by a victorious Adolf Hitler and his ideologically fixated Nazi party. The discovery of the body in a Berlin lake triggers an investigation which, as it spreads, slowly uncovers the true horrors of their final solution to the Jewish question.
Unfortunately he brings nothing new to this appalling tragedy; the only difference between his fictional story and everything that followed from the Wannsee conference (that genuinely took place in in January 1942) is that, in our new Germany, the true events of the Holocaust have been utterly suppressed.
If the truth were revealed would a Nazi dominated Europe be allowed - or be willing - to accept it?
It's a good question but, unfortunately, one that Robert Harris makes no attempt to answer. The thriller itself is, as I'd expected, extremely well written but his handling of the fundamental storyline is unimpressive.
This re-imagining of history is an intriguing premise for a novel. Much of the detail has an authentic ring to it. But how on earth could people not have known the evil that was in their midst? But as Charlie says: "So nobody knows what's true and what isn't. And I'll tell you something else - most people don't care." This is probably as true today.....
Homicide investigator Xavier March finds the body of a drowned man in a lake in Berlin. But his investigation is thwarted by the Gestapo who insist on taking over the case. But when more deaths occur he continues with his own search and begins to finds out much of the truth behind the regime.
It all cracks along at a great pace and culminates in a nail-biting finish and he tries to get vital documents out of Germany. The plot is brilliantly constructed and we are left with a satisfactory but ambiguous ending.....
A thought provoking thriller.
Harris creates a world where Germany has not only won the Second World War but is now the biggest and most dominant country in Europe. Hitler is still alive and the still the leader of the new Germany and the Nazi party are still controlling the citizens of Germany by controlling the media and through use of the SS and other police forces.
The plot of the book follows Xavier March, a member of the German police force, as he investigates the discovery of a body that is found on the outskirts of Berlin. The identities of the body and the secrets that he has taken to the grave have the potential to rock the new Germany. March is forced to look deep into the history of Germany and some of the answers will change his life for ever.
This is one of the best books that I have ever read. The story telling is fantastic and the plot is one of the best I have ever read. Harris creates compelling characters and manages to make you care about them and that for me is the mark of a skilled author.
As a standalone book I cannot recommend this book enough. If you are looking for an enjoyable book with a great story that is very well written then this is the book for you.
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