Paul Schumann is a German-American living in Brooklyn in 1938 and a hitman for the mob. When he is arrested he is taken to an unnamed Colonel in intelligence and given a choice. Either go to jail for life or help his country. The US has discovered that Germany is secretly rearming and that the architect of this rearmament is a man named Reinhardt ...
Paul Schumann is a German-American living in Brooklyn in 1938 and a hitman for the mob. When he is arrested he is taken to an unnamed Colonel in intelligence and given a choice. Either go to jail for life or help his country. The US has discovered that Germany is secretly rearming and that the architect of this rearmament is a man named Reinhardt Ernst, a senior Nazi official and one of Hitler's right hand men. The Colonel wants Schumann to pose as a member of the Olympic team, travel to Berlin and assassinate him. Schumann agrees, goes to Germany and takes a room on the Tiergarten where he works with Morgan, an American expatriate to plan the assassination. There he meets Marlene, an idealistic former journalist and Webber, a black marketeer and fellow gangster, both finding themselves being persecuted by the Nazis. Meanwhile, Willi Kohl, a Berlin criminal investigator is trying to solve the vicious murder of a man connected to the Americans, in the Tiergarten, while trying to keep the SS from interfering. Two German brothers and their sister have been arrested for smuggling their parents - two anti-Nazi professors - out of Germany and are struggling to survive and trying to plan an escape to England. With the opening ceremonies of the Berlin Olympics as their backdrop, all these stories intertwine with twists and turns and a thrilling denouement.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-05-03 Deaver fans expect the unexpected from this prodigiously talented thriller writer, and the creator of the Lincoln Rhyme series and other memorable yarns (The Blue Nowhere, etc.) doesn't disappoint with his 19th novel, this time offering a deliciously twisty tale set in Nazi Berlin. The book's hero is a mob "button man," or hit man, Paul Schumann, who's nabbed in the act in New York City but given an alternative to the electric chair: to go to Berlin undercover as a journalist writing about the upcoming Olympics, in order to assassinate Col. Reinhard Ernst, the chief architect of Hitler's militarization, seen as a threat to American interests. A German spy onboard Paul's transatlantic liner grows suspicious and sends a warning to Germany before Paul discovers and kills him. Then in Berlin, Paul, en route to meet his contact, kills a second suspicious man who may be a storm trooper, setting Insp. Willi Kohl of the Berlin police, or Kripo, on his trail. Deaver weaves the three manhunts-Paul after his target, Kohl after Paul and the Nazi hierarchy after Paul-with a deft hand, bringing to frightening life the Berlin of 1936, a city on the brink of madness. Top Nazis, including Hitler, Himmler and Gering, make colorful cameos, but it's the smart, shaded-gray characterizations of the principals that anchor the exciting plot. An affecting love affair between Paul and his German landlady goes in surprising directions, as do the main plot lines, which move outside Berlin as heroes become villains and vice versa. This is prime Deaver, which means prime entertainment. Agent, Deborah Schneider. (July) Forecast: S&S is betting big on this title, with a 250,000 first printing. A 14-city author tour and Deaver's increasingly hot rep should ensure a solid sell-through. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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