Saturday, February 23, 2019

Book Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Cover Courtesy of Goodreads
Goodreads Summary: In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet. Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command. Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews. As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed? From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.
My Review: How intriguing is this?! I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book as soon as I read the summary. Luckily, it lived up to my expectations.
    All of the characters were very well written. Gretchen was realistic and as cautious and doubtful as Hitler's close friend would be. Daniel's family also acted realistically for the time period. Reinhard, Gretchen's brother, was an interesting character, I like how the author formed a parallel between him and Hitler. I also appreciated Gretchen's mother and the resolution between her and Gretchen.
    The mystery was also interesting, though the culprit a little obvious, in hindsight. What I like best are all of the details of the story. Streets, people, everything has a name, and the reader really feels transported to Germany. The only problem was that I couldn't keep all of the names and suspects straight, but I think that just makes the mystery more realistic (in real life, there isn't going to be one suspect, one crime scene, etc.).
    My last complaint would be that the intro is a little overused: Gretchen meets a tall, dark stranger who keeps appearing and disappearing, saying to meet him at random locations through notes. Perhaps the author could have worked out this part a little better. However, reading the details about Hitler's life and all of the characters made up for any minor flaws.
    I would recommend this book for anyone looking for historical fiction on WWII, and give it 4 stars, as this is the best example I found for that time period. It's suspense and details will leave you craving for the sequel. (Plus, the cover is super gorgeous!) 

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