HELL ABOVE EARTH by Stephen Frater

HELL ABOVE EARTH

The Incredible True Story of an American WWII Bomber Commander and the Copilot Ordered to Kill Him
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The riveting true story of a World War II bomber pilot and the co-pilot who received orders to kill him.

At the beginning of the war, U.S. pilot Werner Goering was “an exceptional pilot” whose “nerves of steel, combined with his unwavering ability to make split-second decisions, saw his crew safely home, mission after grueling mission.” However, writes Sarasota Herald-Tribune staffer Frater, he was also the nephew of Hitler’s right-hand man and head of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering. As a national-security precaution, FBI officials ordered his experienced co-pilot, Jack Rencher, to kill him if their B-17 was going down over Nazi territory. In addition to examining the friendship that developed between the two, the author packs the narrative with rapid-fire history and statistics about the 303rd Bomb Group, the growth of the U.S. Air Force and the overall tenor of the war. Frater captures the strength, fear and bravery of Goering and Rencher's crew, but never fully explains the details of the men's lives. The narrative is more a factual recounting of Goering's career, which began as an untrusted pilot and continued for more than 20 years as a risk-taking spy during the Cold War, ending at a desk in the Pentagon. After the twists and turns in Goering's many missions, Frater finishes with a stunning revelation. Despite occasional repetition, the author delivers an exciting read full of little-known facts about the war.

A WWII thrill ride.

Pub Date: March 13th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-312-61792-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2012




MILITARY HISTORIES:

NonfictionTHE LAST FULL MEASURE by Michael Stephenson
by Michael Stephenson
NonfictionINTO DUST AND FIRE by Rachel S. Cox
by Rachel S. Cox
NonfictionDRIFT by Rachel Maddow
by Rachel Maddow
NonfictionTHE TASTE OF WAR by Lizzie Collingham
by Lizzie Collingham

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionIN THE SHADOWS OF WAR by Thomas Childers
by Thomas Childers
NonfictionA WING AND A PRAYER by Harry H. Crosby
by Harry H. Crosby
NonfictionTHE MIGHTY EIGHTH by Gerald Astor
by Gerald Astor