The Arms Maker of Berlin by Dan Fesperman

The Arms Maker of BerlinThe Arms Maker of Berlin by Dan Fesperman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the best book I’ve read all year. The suspense starts from page one and doesn’t let up all the way through. Nat, a historian, is shanghaied by the FBI and put on the trail of some missing documents from World War II about the White Rose, his academic specialty. His mentor, an old wartime OSS hand, dies suddenly and suspiciously and leaves him clues. But entering the mix is a dodgy blond woman researcher from Germany and a middle eastern man of dubious intentions. The scene shifts back to the wartime and we see Kurt Bauer, the teenage scion of a major industrialist, trying to survive the war while retaining the affections of his lady love. The time frame shifts back and forth throughout the book. There is double dealing and betrayal everywhere, both then and now.

The research that went into this novel is incredibly rich and the plot is nearly believable because of it. There is plenty of death and spycraft to satisfy the hardcore thriller buff and more than enough detail of Germany and Switzerland for those more inclined to appreciate ambience and history. Keeping track of all the players and trying to discern their true motivations is a challenge in itself. The sexual tension is muted but palpable in places. In short, the book has everything. Read it.

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