Monday, 10 June 2013

HISTORICAL THRILLER REVIEW: Traitor's Gate - Michael Ridpath

Release Date: 10/06/13
Publisher:  Head of Zeus


Conrad de Lancey has seen enough of evil: the shadow of fear on the faces of innocents; the roar of tanks through empty streets; the sudden lull before the slaughter begins. Franco's bloody insurrection taught this Englishman all about hell. Arriving in his mother's country, the now Nazi Germany, Conrad is sick at heart. Even Berlin - infamous haven of decadence and vice - salutes fascism. Himmler's black-shirted troops rule the city, and every German arm bears a Swastika. But does every German heart belong to Hitler? When Conrad is arrested by the Gestapo on suspicion of spying, he is rescued by Theo, an old friend from university, now a lieutenant of the Wehrmacht. Together they are drawn into a world of danger and deceit, of plots, paranoia and intrigue where the brave few are united by a single ambition: to free the fatherland from the Fuhrer.


To be honest having loved Michael’s Icelandic crime titles, I wasn’t really sure that moving backwards in time to a Germany in crisis was going to be the right move, after all, whilst Crime has a certain amount of similarities with Thrillers, getting the details for a foreign country correct alongside keeping in line with history is going to be something incredibly tricky.

What Michael does present is a story that has plausibility, populated with characters that the reader can readily associate with and when added to some top notch prose accompanied by a reasonable pace all round presents a tale that will keep you reading until the final page at the end. Whilst this book is solid it does take a little while to get into and as such I didn’t enjoy this as much as I have Michael’s previous work but if this time period more than interests you Michael’s writing will definitely give you something that has some cracking research.

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