Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fatherland by Robert Harris

Xavier March is not having a good day.  The ex-Navy man took a job as a police detective investigating murders because the work challenged him, allowed him to think and to solve problems, and gave him the opportunity to help people.  But over time, the bureaucracy at work became oppressive and the job eventually cost him his marriage and his young son. And now, early on a rainy morning he's supposed to have off, he's called in to investigate a corpse washed up on the shore of a Berlin lake.

Did I mention this is 1964, two weeks before Hitler's 75th birthday and a pending historic meeting with President Joe Kennedy that will put an end to the cold war that has been ongoing between the U.S. and Germany since the latter won World War II?

This bloated corpse with its missing foot is the loose end of a thread that when pulled begins to unravel an explosive secret that is unbelievable but yet, deep in his heart, Xavier knows to be true.

I've always been interested in alternate histories and this is one of the best.  If you're interested too, but don't want to read the book there is a movie version from the 1980s starring Rutger Hauer, but it varies (as do most movies) from the book.

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