David John's imaginative genius shows on every page of his debut thriller as he wraps an intense fiction around the real events and people of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. As the male protagonist Richard Denham and his new friend/love interest Eleanor Emerson meet and become accidental spies, John steadily ratchets up the tension to such a pitch that I could not put the book down. I couldn't believe where it was all heading.
The Berlin scene is set not so much by lengthy nuts-and-bolts descriptive paragraphs but by slyly exposing the overarching atmosphere of Hitler's menacing omnipresence in the form of his jackbooted minions. It's as if all of the Berlin action takes place in a dense fog where nothing is clearly visible but sinister presences are viscerally felt. The threat hanging over Denham becomes increasingly frightening as his pursuers close in, certain that he...
Beyond the Book
In Flight from Berlin
, Richard Denham inherits his love for and fascination with zeppelins from his father. The highlight of his press coverage of the 1936 Olympic games is flying into Berlin on the Hindenburg with a film crew. At that time, passenger zeppelins were mostly a uniquely German phenomenon having been developed in the late 1800s by German war hero Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838 1917).
The Count first encountered so-called lighter-than-air travel during his visit to the United States in the 1860s with permission from president...