Bormann is Hitler’s right-hand man, so when he insists that a girl by the name of Klara Wolf is found and disposed of; you have to wonder what connection there is between her and the German Fuehrer and why it is so important that she is found.
Without asking questions, his loyal colleague Otto Kalt works as swiftly as possible to find the girl. Firstly he travels to Austria in search of answers from a priest called Huber before retreating to Berlin to confront Frau Dietrich, a woman contacted briefly by Huber after Kalt had questioned him, but will he be able to find the girl as quickly as Bormann is expecting?
At the same time, in the city of Cambridge, Professor Tom Wilde is being asked to undertake a secret mission, posing as an American businessman travelling to Berlin. He is to pick a package up but hasn’t been told anything further. To enter Germany in 1941, during a time of war, is a big ask for anyone, so what is so important about this package?
Things don’t quite go to plan for either man though.
Too many people are dead and the girl has gone missing. Bormann isn’t happy, Kalt is currently failing in his duty and to top it all off his wife has lost the only connection to Klara. Will he be able to get back on track?
With Bormann losing faith in Kalt’s abilities to get the job done, he enlists the help of Karl Jung, someone who owes Bormann a great deal after he helped to dispose of Jung’s wife and parents so he would be the only person in line for the inheritance. If Jung refuses Bormann has already decided that he will report him and have him arrested so that he ends up at either Dachau or Sachsenhausen. Surely with two separate people now on the case, things should run smoothly.
For Tom, his time in Germany is no easier. His retrieval isn’t going well. The package is under threat and his plan for a quick exit is not going well. His German is questionable and now he is no longer working alone which makes him feel under further pressure trying to keep everyone alive, but can he keep it that way?
As the story unfolds it soon becomes clear that in order for Tom to return safely back to England with his package still in tack he is going to have to be ruthless, killing if and when necessary. Unfortunately, his skills as an undercover operative are going to be pushed to the limit. If he decides to put his trust in the wrong people he is likely to end up either dead or worse, in a concentration camp.
Will either Wilde or Bormann succeed with their missions?
My Thoughts on Hitler’s Secret
Rory Clements has clearly done his research and adds people from history into the novel. We have mention of Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress, Geli Raubal, Hitler’s niece, along with locations often associated with the dictator.
As with many things related to the Chancellor of Germany this historical, but fictional novel reads like a speculative history of Hitler and his obsession with Geli as well as her own obsession with ‘Uncle Alf’.
Aside from the Hilter-Geli story though, this is a spy thriller written from the perspective of two opposing sides. You can’t help but will for Wilde to succeed while at the same time hoping that something terrible will eventually happen to Bormann. I can only assume that this is what Rory Clements was hoping for. He has created a vile character in Bormann that will stop at nothing in order to gain promotion and recognition from one of the cruellest people ever to walk the earth.
This is many be a fictional novel but it is easy to envisage that everything described actually took place. There must be 100’s of people through this time that undertook similar missions in the hope that their actions would lead to the end of the war, or at least end the persecution and suffering of a few people.
Reading Hitler’s Secret, I felt like I was actually being transported back to the 1940s where freedom of movement was not easily achievable and life was considerably harder for everyone.
Have you read any of Rory Clements’ novels?
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