Tag: Nazism

Blood Flag by Steve Martini

June 14th, 2016 — 6:51pm



Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 8.37.43 AMBlood Flag by Steve Martini

Not too long ago, I read Compelling Evidence, the first of 14 novels written by Steve Maritini ,which features private detective, Paul Madriani. This book was published in 1992 and I found it a terrific read and enjoyed the courtroom insight and intrigue. So now, I jumped to his latest novel in this series titled, Blood Flag. Perhaps my expectations were too high as I eagerly looked to see how the author had elevated his game after a quarter of a century.

Paul Madriani, the lawyer, was there with Harry, his trusted partner. There also was his special private investigator, Herman, who has a team of his “guys” to dig up information to further the plot. I thought these guys were overused to provide information for the story line.

The story begins as Madriani takes on a new client, an old woman who is accused of killing her hospitalized husband with an insulin injection in a mercy-type killing, which she denies. The deceased husband is connected with his World War II buddies who were in Berlin at the end of the war when Hitler committed suicide. They become linked to “Blutfahne” also known as the bloody flag, which is purported to have been designed by Adolf Hitler. (Remember, he was a struggling artist before the war). This flag was believed to have been first flown in Munich at the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 where Hitler was arrested and put in jail (where he wrote Mein Kampf). There are supposed to be various keys to a safe deposit box where this symbolic, historical, iconic object is said to have been hidden.

Rather than being an exciting courtroom drama, which characterized his first novel in this series, this latest one in the series seems to me to have turned into a convoluted detective story. I didn’t believe that the characters were that well developed so I didn’t really care about most of them. Certainly, the author still has his touch in writing a dramatic moment or a confrontation, which occurred near the end of the book. I may have to give the author another chance by reading one of his earlier novels but I can’t recommend this latest one.


To obtain a copy of this book from Amazon, click here 



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In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

May 29th, 2012 — 1:12am

In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson – Just when it seems that everything has been written about the rise of Nazism, a new work come along that sheds further insight on this horrific piece of history. Erik Larson ( author of The Devil in the While City ) allows us to see this morbid piece of history through the eye of William Dodd, a university professor who was chosen by President Franklin Roosevelt to the US Ambassador to Germany in the 1930s, just as Hitler is coming to power. He, his wife and two grown children, Bill and Martha come to Berlin bringing their old Chevy with them so Dodd could try to avoid an ostentatious diplomatic life style and live within his meager salary. Never the less he did attend the lavish diplomatic events  as required. He got know the rising Nazis and witnessed first hand the slow  but sure disenfranchisement of the Jews living in Germany and the ultimate brutality of the Nazis. His daughter Martha can only be described as a free spirit. She dated and romanced several young German officers, a Russian spy and even was introduced by one of her boyfriends to Adolph Hitler who kissed her hand. Both father and daughter at first didn’t appreciate the significance of the changing atmosphere in Germany. Initially, they   even seemed to sympathize with what they thought was seemingly innocuous anti-Semitic views expressed by some of the German leaders and many of the German people. Both did come to understand the true nature of the new German rulers. They saw not only was it undemocratic but it was  cruel and inhuman. From early on in his stay Dodd felt some of the people in the state department and even some from his staff badmouthed him because they felt he didn’t fit in this “old boys” network. It was Ambassador Dodd who tried to inform his superiors in Washington of what was happening in Germany but he was minimized by many voices in the US state department. The impression is given that Roosevelt did understood the reality but couldn’t speak out or take action because the mood of the US was not ready. In the end Dodd came out a hero-although a lonely voice that obviously never made a difference but deserves to be remembered.

The authenticity of the narration is supported by detailed research, which Larson documented at the end of this book. This included a meticulous review of archives from all over the world, biographies, memoirs published and unpublished. There would seem to be no doubt that the reader has viewed the birth and growth of the Nazi beast from a unique vantage point.

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