Fourth in the Tom Wilde World War Two spy mysteries, Hitler’s Secret by Rory Clements hits the ground running and keeps the pages turning. The secret in question is a ten-year old girl who may or may not be the love child of Hitler. Klara has a false identity and is hidden but is now in imminent danger of exposure and murder.
Wilde travels to Berlin disguised as a German-American motorcycle manufacturer in search of a business deal. His cover enables him to meet allies and search for Klara. Unsure of his mission from the beginning, Wilde imagines that everyone can see through his false identity, everyone is planning to kill him. Clements tells the story at breakneck speed, flicking from viewpoint to viewpoint. Martin Bormann, Hitler’s gatekeeper wants Klara dead and despatches a henchman, Otto Kalt. But it seems everyone touched by Klara’s story is at risk of death. As Wilde closes in on Klara’s hiding place, so do her killers. What ensues is a tense chase north across Germany towards the promised sanctuary of Sweden. And at all times it is assumed Hitler is unaware of the girl’s existence. But who else knows the secret?
At the heart of this story is trust. Believing loyalty expressed at time of war can be a treacherous decision and at times Tom feels everyone has an agenda except him. Even his allies have their own motivations, their own friends and loyalties. Expecting to collect a ‘package’ in Berlin, he is horrified to find he is collecting a girl; he feels duped and used by his spy chiefs. And as Tom runs, it is impossible for him to identify his pursuers. His judgement is seriously challenged and he trusts no-one. What is on the surface a matter of shaming the perfect Adolf Hitler, so popular with his German female citizens, is at the same time a fight between the most elite of German officials.
Familiar characters from earlier books in the series recur: Tom’s partner Lydia, American diplomat Jim Vandenberg and Wilde’s contact at British intelligence, Philip Eaton. History professor Wilde is an affecting amateur spy, diligently learning the role he is assigned but relying on his instincts to get him out of trouble. Of course, the best laid plan can go wrong but this time the plan is not organised in advance and Tom is on his own. He will sink or swim and the few he trusts do not know if he is alive or dead.
BUY THE BOOK
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
HITLER’S SECRET by Rory Clements #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-47r via @SandraDanby