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by Philip Kerr
Putnam, May 2006
464 pages
ISBN: 0399152695

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

It's 1943 and Hitler and his advisors see that they are losing the war and want to make certain that the end of their empire doesn't mean that Germany is dishonored as well as defeated. Because Roosevelt insists on unconditional surrender, which the Nazis refuse to consider, Hitler and his advisers are working on secret plans. They want to manipulate the Allies to fear the power of the Russian State after the war more than they want revenge for the destruction the Nazis wrought during the war.

Though they all want peace, Hitler's cronies are all also concerned with their individual safety and welfare after the surrender comes, so there are different parties working many different schemes.

Office of Strategic Services agent Willard Mayer, a highly educated rich playboy (as are most of the members of the OSS), is sent by FDR to act as his eyes and ears to find out what schemes are at play, by both the other leaders of the Allied Forces and by the Germans. Mayer's unusual history opens him up to see the whole picture, but it also makes him a target for blackmail.

Mayer's German counterpart in the story is Intelligence Officer Walter Schellenberger, and through his eyes we see the German position. Schellenberger has his own secret plans on how best to handle the situation to get the allies to dance to the tune that will best serve the Germans' position.

In that the story is set in the real world, there isn't a lot of tension when we hear about the secret workings of all the plots to kill or overthrow the powers of that time; after all we know who survived to win the war. Yet the story does manage to bring the readers far enough into the workings of the intrigues to keep then guessing as to the end of the book.

HITLER'S PEACE is a fascinating take on history and not at all just for spy fans. By bringing the readers into the quiet meeting places of both sides, we can get a personalized view of the mindset of the leaders during the end of the Second World War. It's a book well worth reading.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, July 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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