Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Night of Long Knives-Rebecca Cantrell

A Night of Long Knives
Rebecca Cantrell
Forge, Jun 22 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765320452

Journalist Hannah Vogel, traveling as Frau Zinsli, and her adopted nine year old son Anton fly on the Graf Zeppelin to Switzerland. Hannah is concerned that she is so close to Nazi Germany as three years ago she kidnapped the alleged son of the chief of staff of the storm troopers Ernst Rohm. Her fears become affirmed when the airship lands in Germany with she and the lad dumped by the Swiss, who continue their journey. Worse she is separated from the lad as she is taken to Rohm.

However, she has her first break since being captured on German soil when Hitler and a contingency arrive at Rohm’s hotel room to arrest him. Hitler’s inadvertent intrusion enables Hannah to escape. However, she refuses to leave without her Anton so the intrepid reporter searches for her son at great risk to her life.

A Night of Long Knives is a fascinating Depression Era tale that centers on the Nazi’s strengthening their power over all aspects of German society. The story line is action-packed with a courageous heroine who has way too many Houdini-like escapes that eventually detracts from the sense of what is happening to Germany circa 1934. Still historical readers will enjoy Rebecca Cantrell’s exciting thriller rooting for Hannah the heroine.

Harriet Klausner

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