Summary and book reviews of The Afrika Reich by Guy Saville

The Afrika Reich

By Guy Saville

The Afrika Reich
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2013,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: 13 Jan 2015,
    400 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Heather A Phillips

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Book Summary

Africa, 1952. More than a decade has passed since Britain's humiliation at Dunkirk brought an end to the war and the beginning of an uneasy peace with Hitler.

The swastika flies from the Sahara to the Indian Ocean. Britain and a victorious Nazi Germany have divided the continent. The SS has crushed the native populations and forced them into labor. Gleaming autobahns bisect the jungle, jet fighters patrol the skies. For almost a decade an uneasy peace has ensued.

Now, however, the plans of Walter Hochburg, messianic racist and architect of Nazi Africa, threaten Britain's ailing colonies.

Sent to curb his ambitions is Burton Cole: a one-time assassin torn between the woman he loves and settling an old score with Hochburg. If he fails unimaginable horrors will be unleashed on the continent. No one – black or white – will be spared.

But when his mission turns to disaster, Burton must flee for his life.

It is a flight that will take him from the unholy ground of Kongo to SS slave camps to war-torn Angola – and finally a conspiracy that leads to the dark heart of The Afrika Reich itself.

CHAPTER ONE

Schädelplatz, Deutsch Kongo14 September 1952, 01:14

Nine minutes. He had nine minutes to exorcise a lifetime.

Burton Cole sat at Hochburg's desk, sweat trickling behind his ears. He was dressed in the uniform of a Sturmbannführer, an SS major: black tunic and breeches, Sam Browne belt, jackboots, swastika armband on the left sleeve. His skin crawled beneath the material. To complete the look, his hair had been cut short, his beard shaved; the skin on his cheeks felt raw and exposed. Chained to his wrist was an attaché case empty except for two items: a pouch fat with diamonds and, concealed inside that, a table knife.

The knife had been his mother's, from a service used only for company. He still remembered the way she would beam as she laid the table for visitors, the flash of silver. That was—what?—when he was eight or nine. Back then he struggled to slice meat with it; now it was as deadly as an ice pick.

He'd spent years sharpening it to a jagged ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

The Afrika Reich has been meticulously researched, which raises it a significant cut above the average airport thriller. In addition, the seamlessness of the alternate history is remarkable, especially given that the book does not rely on long swaths of exposition, but allows the reader to complete that history from events shown, rather than told, by the book.   (Reviewed by Heather A Phillips).

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Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

The realpolitik seems credible, and while some alternate historical factoids seem far-fetched...they don't overshadow the dark and gruesome narrative dynamic. A skin-of-the-teeth escape at the end foreshadows a series.

Booklist

Saville’s debut novel makes an energetic leap into alternate history….they’ll enjoy the wild, running battle against contemporary history’s greatest villains.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Saville gets everything right - providing suspenseful action sequences, logical but enthralling plot twists, a fully thought through imaginary world, and characters with depth.

The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Fatherland for an action movie age.

The Economist, Books of the Year 2011

The] plot is clever, imaginative and, in its finale, wholly unexpected. In a crowded field, The Afrika Reich stands out as a rich and unusual thriller, politically sophisticated and hard to forget.

Sunday Express, Books of the Year 2011

Set in a world in which Britain made peace with Hitler after 1940, this account of a mercenary mission to Africa makes for an engrossing and convincing debut.

The Times (UK)

An horrific reimaging of the Dark Continent.

The Sun (UK)

A thoroughly enjoyable and compelling read.

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The Dunkirk Evacuation

In The Afrika Reich, author Guy Saville sets his story in a world in which the "miracle of Dunkirk" is reimagined as the "massacre of Dunkirk". In this book, Britain failed in their mass evacuation of troops from the European mainland. Burton Cole, the protagonist, is a survivor of the "Dunkirk Massacre" and a former prisoner of the Germans.

British troops rescued at DunkirkThe stage for the real Dunkirk Miracle was set on the night of May 9, 1940. German troops attacked Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Northern France (bypassing the much-vaunted Maginot Line). Though British troops moved to the defense of these so-called 'low-countries' and that of France, their forces were unable to prevent a German victory in occupying those countries. On May 14, German ...

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