Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Glenn Meade's Brandenburg - Nazis Are Back!

Deep in the steamy jungles of Paraguay, something believed long defeated begins to stir into a new life.  The time is right – and just when you thought it was safe to go back into Germany.

Glenn Meades’ newest, Brandenburg, has modern-day Nazis hatching evil plans for taking over the Fatherland in the sweltering heat of South America and in the wintery climate of Berlin.

The brutal murder of investigative reporter Rudi Hernandez in Paraguay raises some red flags for his cousin Erica Kranz and Joseph Volkmann, the man assigned to uncover the mystery behind Rudi’s death and a string of murders around the world, inexplicably linked to a group of influential Germans.

The web of espionage, terrorism, and politics is not easy to unravel in this cerebral thriller.  Meade doesn’t give anything away until the reveal in the last quarter of the book, and that’s what makes it such a intriguing read.  We know the Nazis are up to something – but what exactly is the plan?  Although brainy, Brandenburg doesn’t disappoint in the action – plenty of bullets and standoffs to please the most ardent action aficionado. 

Volkmann and Kranz may be a bit too brooding for my taste – both dealing with the weight of their family’s history – Volkmann’s father a concentration camp victim, Kranz’s father a commander in the SS.  Their relationship is at times cold and strained as they deal with the aftermath of their pasts.

Meades’ overview of Germany’s present political climate is a good backdrop to the action.  Discontent over unemployment, inflation, and the influx of immigrants creates a potential powder keg that’s just begging for the spark to set it off.  And the Nazis are all too happy to oblige.

Brandenburg is a smart novel that digs a little deeper into Hitler’s early life leading the Nazi Party and spins a suspenseful “what if” that will keep the pages turning well past midnight.

A courtesy copy of Brandenburg received from Howard Books in exchange for an honest review.