Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Flight from Berlin, by David John

Pre-WWII Berlin is the host sight for the 1936 Olympics, and Nazi power is on the rise.  While many have concerns about Nazi ideas and actions, the Reich puts on a good show during the Olympic festivities.  When one American athlete gets removed from the USA team, she joins forces with a British reporter to determine the truth behind the treatment of the sole Jewish athlete on the German team.  Their investigates gets them entangled with a situation that the SS has deemed a threat to national security, and instead of merely fighting for justice, they find themselves fighting for their very lives.

Anyone who is familiar with my reviews knows I love a good WWII era story, which is what drew me to this book in the first place.  I thought the book has a slow take off.  A lot of back story and character development was done up front, and I understand why; it was necessary to get the readers invested.  However, I found that the early parts of the book, where much of this development occurred, seemed to drag.  It was not until I was over 100 pages in that I felt the story take off.  However, once it did, it was off like a rocket.


While the book is set against a real historical backdrop, the story is fiction.  Many of the characters are actual historical figures, or are fictional characters based on historical figures, and I found that to be really fascinating.  I immediately wanted to read the books the author sited as some of his sources of inspiration. There is a whole lot going on in this book. Politics, history, romance, intrigue, espionage.  And a very very wickedly interesting twist about the Fuhrer himself.  I loved the twist involving what the actual secret was that the SS was trying to conceal.  That alone makes the book worth the read, and makes one wonder how much fiction is influenced by fact.  

All in all, I found this to be a fairly solid read.  Some historical fiction fans will like it, particularly those who, like me, loved 1930s Europe.  While the book was initially a little slow due to some frontloading of the character and story development, it certainly held my attention well, and eventually I was unable to put it down at all.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours.  See the rest of the tour here.

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