Gretchen Müller is a Nazi darling. Ever since her father died protecting Adolf Hitler in 1923, Uncle “Dolf” and his National Socialist cronies look out for Gretchen and her family. It’s Uncle Dolf who gets Gretchen’s mother a job running a Munich boarding house and indoctrinates Gretchen’s brother into the Nazi party. And it’s Uncle Dolf whom Gretchen loves like a father. Then one fateful night in 1931 she meets Daniel Cohen, a Jewish reporter, who claims he has information that Gretchen’s father was not martyred for the Nazi cause, but was murdered for the cause. At first Gretchen refuses to believe him. After all, she’s been taught that Jews are dangerous subhumans. But the more information she digs up about her father’s death, the more she sees Daniel as an ally, one she finds both attractive and kind. When a brutal assault leaves her abandoned by the Nazis who are supposed to protect her, Gretchen finally sees her beloved Uncle Dolf for the man history knows him to be: a psychopath.
Anne Blankman’s masterful debut novel is a suspenseful mystery involving the most notorious and nefarious historical figures of the 20th century. Blankman portrays Hitler as one would imagine him to be: charismatic but manipulative, cruel and deeply disturbed (his relationship with his half-niece is highly unnerving).
With Prisoner of Night and Fog, readers shouldn’t expect an alternate history. The outcome will still be the same: the eventual extermination of 10 million innocent people, 6 million of them Jews. But what readers can expect is the transformation of a teenage girl entrenched in Nazi propaganda into a young woman determined to expose the Nazi’s true plans in hopes of changing the world for the better. A sequel set in 1933 is forthcoming.
Kimberly Giarratano is the author of Grunge Gods and Graveyards, a young adult paranormal mystery.