Monday, November 7, 2011
Blood of the Reich
by William Dietrich
From the mountains of Washington to the mountains of Tibet. From an aerie nunnery to a Nazi castle. Dietrich's latest books spans the generations from just before World War II to present day. Jump aboard and come along for an adventure filled with explosions, sex, treachery, and the ever elusive treasure of a lifetime.
We begin in 1938 with zoologist and SS member Kurt Raeder, who is called to a meeting with Heinrich Himmler. The Nazis are gearing for war, and the head of the German secret police wants Raeder to help assure Reich domination. Raeder is sent to Tibet to search for the legendary city of Shambhala and a power source that will give Germany guaranteed world conquest. Jump ahead to present day where publicist Rominy Pickett's life is narrowly saved by a mysterious man claiming to be an investigative reporter who knows about Pickett's ancestry. Apparently, her great-grandfather traveled to Tibet and may have brought home a secret so great people have and will kill to possess it. Together, they sort through clues, avoiding danger at every turn, in order to find what the fascists of yesterday (and their followers of today) sought in the mysterious land of Tibet.
A lot of thought went into this plot, conceived from an actual German expedition to Tibet in 1938. Dietrich uses real science and throws in some real people. It's a very good adventure story with some good twists and 'realistic' stretches of imagination.
Kurt Raeder: German zoologist and SS officer. Loyal to the Nazis. He wants to prove himself. He's also a sexual sadist when it comes to women.
Benjamin Hood: Phd. Zoologist. American. He traveled with Raeder to Tibet in the past. The expedition ended in controversy. He is handsome and rich.
Rominy Pickett: Software publicist. Sees herself as 'cubicle girl' with a dull job. She'd like to settle down with the ideal man
Jake Barrow: Claims he is an investigative reporter. Driven. Intelligent.
Beth Calloway: American woman pilot in 1938 helping the Chinese in their war with Japan. Independent. Self assured.
Very good characters. You suspect a few of them, but just who's who is a good surprise. Rominy seems a little wimpish at times, but at least she's consistent and comes through when needed.
Consistent with each character. There was a scene where a several Germans are speaking and it's a little difficult to put individual sentences to each man, but otherwise, not too bad.
Detailed enough to bring you into the scene (with scenes in the Pacific Northwest, various parts of China, Tibet, and Germany you need some
description) but not enough to bore or drag down the story. A little profanity that isn't needed. The scientific explanations aren't confusing and is actually informative and interesting. There is a little issue with changing POV in several scenes and I only mention it because, ahem, most writers aren't allowed to get away with it. On the whole, a very well written adventure and I would enjoy reading others by this author.