As evening falls against the majestic backdrop of the Bavarian Alps, Charles Hirter, an American tourist, is savagely murdered. In the peace, quiet and pastoral splendor of this magnificent setting, Charles Hirter draws his last breath. Was Charles simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? Kommissar Franz Waldbaer, the German detective in charge of the case, faces an investigation that yields neither clues nor suspects nor motives. A gruff, go-it alone detective, Waldbaer is dismayed by the arrival of Robert Hirter, the victim’s brother, who insists on joining the investigation. But there is more to Robert than meets the eye. As Robert and the Kommissar uncover a nefarious nexus of evil past and evil present, they find themselves probing dark, long-forgotten episodes from the Third Reich in order to identify the present threat. Thrust into a violent world of fanatic passions, malevolent intentions and excruciating urgency, Robert Hirter and Kommissar Waldbaer must race against the clock to stop a sophisticated, covert, and deadly plot.
Yes, this book falls slightly outside my “comfort genre zone”. However – always in for stretching myself I wanted to give this book a read. Why this book? Well, I do love a good mystery – and even a good thriller. The stretch comes in the international espionage type books that just can’t hold my attention. An international spy I will never be. The hook for me was actually in the author, John J. Le Beau. I like to read books where the authors really have a background in what they are talking about and John does have that. He served as an operations officer in the CIA for over 25 years and now serves as a Professor of National Security Studies. I have always heard that you should write what you know…. and John does just that.
I enjoyed the fact that the person going after Charles murderer was his brother Robert. That made the story real to me… not so over the top that I couldn’t keep up. By uncovering the pieces to Charles murder, Robert starts to bring in the reality that what has happened has a larger impact on the world then he could have ever anticipated.
A fast paced – and plenty of action read, John does deliver the book I believe he sat out to write. I have to say that while this would normally not be a book for me, I found that John was able to write this style of book without overloading it with so many complications and twists that it left readers like myself in the dust. I was pleasantly surprised.
I received my review copy of this book from Omnimystery