Excerpt from The Afrika Reich by Guy Saville, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Afrika Reich

by Guy Saville

The Afrika Reich by Guy Saville
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2013, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2015, 400 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Heather A Phillips

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"My father was Heinrich Kohl. My mother"—even after all this time, her name stumbled in his throat—"my mother, Eleanor."

Still that blank look. Those empty brown eyes.

If the bastard had hawked their names and spat, if he had laughed, Burton would have relished it. But Hochburg's indifference was complete. The lives of Burton's parents meant no more to him than those pitiful, nameless skulls on the square outside.

He had planned to do it silently, so as not to bring the guards hammering at the door. But now he didn't care.

Burton leapt across the table in a frenzy.

He crashed into Hochburg, hitting the bottle of water. Shards of it exploded everywhere. Burton grabbed the older man's throat, but Hochburg was faster. He parried with his forearm.

They both tumbled to the ground, limbs thrashing.

Hochburg swiped ferociously again, snatched at Burton's ear as if he would rip it off. Then he was grasping for his Luger.

Burton clambered on top of him. Pushed down with all his weight. Pointed the knife at his throat. Hochburg writhed beneath him. Burton slammed his knee into Hochburg's groin. He felt the satisfying crush of testes. Veins bulged in Hochburg's face.

Outside the room there was shouting, the scrape of boots. Then a tentative knock at the door. It locked from the inside, and no one was allowed entry without the express command of the Oberstgruppenführer, even the Leibwachen—Hochburg's personal bodyguards. Another detail Ackerman had supplied.

"You recognize this knife," hissed Burton, his teeth bared. "You used it often enough. Fattening yourself at our table." He pushed the blade tight against Hochburg's windpipe.

"Whoever you are, listen to me," said Hochburg, his eyeballs ready to burst. "Only the Führer's palace has more guards. You can't possibly escape."

Burton pushed harder, saw the first prick of blood. "Then I've got nothing to lose."

There was another knock at the door, more urgent this time.

Burton saw Hochburg glance at it. "Make a sound," he said, "and I swear I'll cut your fucking tongue off." Then: "My mother. I want to know. I…" He opened his mouth to speak again, but the words died. It was as if all Burton's questions—like wraiths or phantoms—had weaved together into a thick cord around his throat. He made a choking sound and became deathly still. The blade slackened on Hochburg's neck.

Then the one thing happened that he had never considered.

Burton began to weep.

Softly. With no tears. His chest shuddering like a child's.

Hochburg looked more bewildered than ever but took his chance. "Break down the door!" he shouted to the guards outside. "Break down the door. An assassin!"

There was a frantic thump-thump-thump of boots against wood.

The sound roused Burton. He had never expected to get this opportunity; only a fool would waste it. He bent lower, his tear ducts still smarting. "What happened to her?"

"Quickly!" screeched Hochburg.

"Tell me, damn you! I want the truth."

"Quickly!"

"Tell me." But the rage and shame and fear—and, in the back of his mind, the training, that rowdy instinct to survive—suddenly came to the fore.

Burton plunged the knife deep and hard.

Hochburg made a wet belching noise, his eyelids flickering. Blood spurted out of his neck. It hit Burton in the face, a slap from chin to eyebrow. Burning hot. Scarlet.

Burton stabbed again and again. More blood. It drenched his clothes. Spattered the maps on the walls, running down them. Turning Africa red.

Then the door burst inward and two guards were in the room, pistols drawn. Faces wide and merciless.

Excerpted from The Afrika Reich by Guy Saville. Copyright © 2013 by Guy Saville. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Dunkirk Evacuation

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Good Me Bad Me
    Good Me Bad Me
    by Ali Land
    Is a psychopath born or made? This is the terrifying question that author Ali Land explores in her ...
  • Book Jacket: Five-Carat Soul
    Five-Carat Soul
    by James McBride
    In the short story "Sonny's Blues," from the 1965 collection Going to Meet the Man, African-...
  • Book Jacket: This Blessed Earth
    This Blessed Earth
    by Ted Genoways
    For the Hammonds, a farming family in Nebraska, the 2014 harvest season started with a perfect storm...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

"A powerful, provocative debut ... Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." - Kirkus, starred review

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Never Coming Back
    by Alison McGhee

    A moving exploration of growing up and growing old, and the ties that bind parents and children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.