The explosive new thriller of a world that so nearly existed
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.
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 waswhat?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 ...
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).
Full Review (564 words).
In The Afrika Reich, 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 and a former prisoner of the Germans.
The 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 German occupation. On May 14, German forces turned toward the English Channel and the channel port...
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