While Hitler and friends revamp Germany, slaughtering citizens as they see fit, Berlin's Inspector Ernst Lohmann, of the...

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DEATH'S HEAD BERLIN

While Hitler and friends revamp Germany, slaughtering citizens as they see fit, Berlin's Inspector Ernst Lohmann, of the Criminal Police, solves several smaller-scale murder cases. Then Col. Heydrich calls him in for a meeting with the Fuhrer, who insists that he investigate the murder of three minor Nazi officials--Bruckner, Preuss, and Rudig--and find out who garroted them and why. Heydrich assigns his aide, Captain Zoller, to Lohmann's case, supposedly as a liaison but really as a Gestapo spy. Meanwhile, Lohmann's search leads him to the Berlin criminal underworld, where the Blind Man offers a tip, then is garroted; where Muller, an arch-criminal, offers a tip and is killed; to a synagogue, where he finds the deep, dark secret in the archives (which are later destroyed by fire), and, after Zoller fortuitously falls to his death while up to SS skulduggery, to the Nuremburg rally, hot on the trail of the common link--a man who wants to tell Hitler about five young boys growing up together in the country, and their racial backgrounds. Before the close, Lohmann will remove his housekeeper and daughter to safety (in Paris) and confront the Gestapo bigwig who murdered everyone having an inkling of the bigwig's Jewish antecedents. Like Gerson's The Whitehall Sanction (1984), an awkwardly written, sluggishly thought-out endeavor, with all the stereotypes accounted for (the youngster spouting Hitler Youth jargon, the anti-Reich housekeeper, etc.) and with tinges of real cruelty throughout. All in all, the author's second seems about as substantial as a bad war-movie.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1988