Top positive review
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A Good Follow Up
on 29 July 2010
A few months ago I read A Trace of Smoke, the first novel, and was very impressed with the plot and the characterisation. It is good to find someone who knows so much about the historical background and the city that they write about.
This book is a continuation of the story and set 3 years after the first. Hannah and Anton are on a trip in the Graf Zeppelin from South America, to where they fled after the first book. However the zeppelin is diverted from Switzerland to Fredrickshafen.
Here Antin is kidnapped and Hannah sets out to recover him. In the process she witnesses the arrest of Ernst Rohm, the boy's "father", by Hitler and the SS. She follows the trail to Berlin and encounters Nazis, Rohm's mother, spies and members of the underworld.
We also find that German life changed in a very short space of time following the Nazi's ascent to power. Even German families are at risk from the actions of children and servants and police offers either join the Party or lose their jobs. Many non-Nazis had to join the party to avoid losing their jobs.
It also shows the extent that, even at this early stage, the Nazis were willing to change laws in order to retrosepctively legalise the murder of their own party members and other citizens. We also see that the Night of the Long Knives was a well prepared action against the SA and their other political opponents.
This is a well wrtten, plotted and characterised story that concludes with a new plot for a subsequent novel. I would recommend reading A Trace of Smoke so that you do not miss some of the plot lines.