Friday, April 5, 2013

Brandenburg by Glenn Meade

In this novel of international intrigue, Meade has created a world where descendants of the Nazi elite want to restore Germany to the strength it knew under Hitler. They adhere to the oath made to Hitler and the Reich to sacrifice everything to perpetuate the Nazi ideals and create a Fourth Reich.

Like the conspiracy, the novel is complex. The action begins in Paraguay as a journalist investigates seemingly unrelated murders. When he is found dead, his cousin in Germany, Erica Kranz, approaches the Direction de Securite Europeenne. The DSE had been created by the European Union to be the equivalent of the Untied States' FBI with investigative powers that crossed national borders.
DSE agent Joe Volkmann interviews Erica in Frankfurt and the two of them travel to Paraguay to investigate. They find an old torn photograph showing a woman next to what appears to be a Nazi. They return to Europe, continuing the investigation.

The conspiracy is wide spread and the reader discovers the breadth of the intrigue as the novel continues. Added to the action is the tension between Joe, whose family was terrorized by the Nazis, and Erica, whose father was one of those Nazis.

Some aspects of the fictional conspiracy to resurrect a Reich is based on historical fact, as Meade notes in an afterward.

This is a rewarding novel for those who like Ludlum or Le Carre. There is a good combination of international intrigue and character thought and development. We see how the ghosts of the past influence the actions of both the investigators and the conspirators. The suspense is continuous and heightens at the end.

My thoughts:

While this novel is under the “Christian” imprint of Howard Books, Christianity is not a part of this novel. As a Christian bookstore owner, I remember when Howard Books, an independent Christian publishing company established in 1969, was acquired by Simon & Schuster in 2006. I think it reasonable to expect novels released under this imprint to have some Christian aspect to distinguish it from other releases from Simon & Schuster. That is not the case here.

Also, this is Meade's first novel that was originally printed in England in 1994 and then in the U.S. in 1998 (St. Martin's paperback). While the plot and writing are both well done, I think the conspiracy itself, the resurrection of the German Reich, is a bit dated and is beyond reasonable credibility. If you like a novel about what might have happened a couple of decades ago, then this is a good choice.

Glenn Meade was born in Dublin, Ireland. Several of his novels have been international bestsellers. He worked in the field of pilot training for Aer Lingus for many years and as a journalist for the Irish Times. He now writes full time. Find out more at

Howard Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), 512 pages. Publisher's product page.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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