The Berghof Betrayal by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin

The Berghof Betrayal by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin
Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing
Genre: Historical, Thriller, Mystery/suspense
Length: Full (433 pgs)
Rated: 5 stars
Review by Rose

“Weiland Herzfelde has absolutely reliable information that the Nazis plan a fake attempt on Hitler’s life which is to be the signal for a general massacre. The sources of his information are the SA in Dortmund and a tapped telephone conversation between Hitler and Röhm.”
The Diaries of Count Harry Kessler, February 1933

Winston Churchill receives startling news from a German aristocrat in early 1933 after Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany. The aristocrat has learned of a plot to stage a fake assassination attempt on the new German leader that the Nazis will use as a pretext to declare martial law and liquidate their political opponents. Unknown to Hitler, however, his enemies within the Nazi party—the Black Front—are conspiring with renegade elements of his own SS to turn the fake assassination attempt into a real one.

Churchill tells the American newspaper titan William Randolph Hearst of the fake plot and, together, they persuade Mattie McGary, Hearst’s top photojournalist and Churchill’s adventure-seeking Scottish god- daughter, to investigate. Mattie readily agrees in large part because exposing the fake plot may help her finally shed the unfortunate reputation she has in Germany as “Hitler’s favorite foreign journalist”.

Soon after she leaves for Germany, Mattie’s fiancé, the American lawyer and former MID agent Bourke Cockran, Jr., also travels to Germany to help his publisher client, Freedom House, acquire the rights to Rear Area Pig, an expose of Hitler’s less-than-heroic wartime service. Once in Germany, both Mattie and Cockran find themselves in peril at the hands of the SS loyal to Hitler who will stop at nothing to keep Cockran from acquiring the book and Mattie from learning the truth about the fake plot.

Threats to Mattie multiply when SS agents working for the Black Front attempt to coerce her into joining the real plot to kill Hitler. When Cockran learns the Black Front intends to kill Mattie along with Hitler at his alpine retreat, the Berghof, he reluctantly seeks the help of Reichspresident Herman Göring and Kurt von Sturm, a top Göring aide who is also one of Mattie’s former lovers. The one-time rivals for Mattie’s affection quickly conclude that there is only one way to protect Mattie. They must take out the Black Front snipers before they can assassinate Hitler. And time is running out…

This is the fourth book in the Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller series, but it’s the first one I’ve read. Oftentimes that would be a bad idea, but I’m so glad I took a chance on this. Sure, I might have had a deeper understanding of the characters had I read the earlier two books, but I had absolutely no trouble following this one.

It’s a long, complicated story and is not a quick or easy read. It is, however, one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time. It’s detailed, nuanced, and beautifully written. Be aware, it’s very much true to the times and what was going on in the world. There were some pretty depraved individuals around, and the authors do not hesitate to show you what they are capable of.

A blend of historical figures and characters created for the story make this look the world in the 1930s an easy way to learn about what was going on– it’s obvious the authors did their homework. There is a wonderful addition at the back of the book where they share what parts of the story are historical fact and which are created for the story. I appreciated this completely because the two were so seamlessly woven together that I wasn’t sure which were which!

A wonderful job! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Top Ten Tuesday: First Ten Books I Gave Five Stars

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is Throwback Freebie!  I’ve been reviewing for Long and Short Reviews for over eight years, and I have had the opportunity to read so many wonderful books.  When I read this week’s topic, I decided to go back through my reviews and list the first ten books I rated five stars, in no particular order.  I have given Goodreads links as well as links to my review if possible.  I had so much fun remembering these books.  I just might have to read some of them again!

Enemy of the King by Beth Trissel-This is the very first book I gave five stars!  I really enjoy historical fiction, and I’ve had the pleasure of reading several of Ms. Trissel’s books.

Enemy of the King

Margaret’s Rematch by Farida Mestek-This sweet, historical romance was a delight to read.

Margaret's Rematch

He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not: Deadly Games #1 by Lena Diaz-This mystery had me on the edge of my seat!  Here is my review.

He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not (Deadly Games, #1)

The Hollow King: Night of the Gryphon Book One by Tasarla Romaney-This is the first book in a young adult, fantasy series that I really enjoyed.  Here is my review.

Night of the Gryphon Book One the Hollow King

Twilight Over Moldavia: Moldavia Moon #2 by Stephanie Burkhart-This is the second book in a great paranormal series.  Here is my review.

Twilight Over Moldavia (Moldavian Moon, #2)

The Disciple by Jemma Chase-I absolutely loved this short story!  I found it extremely thought provoking.  Here is my review.

The Disciple

The Caves of Etretat: Book One of Four by Matt Chatelain-This is a wonderful mystery/suspense.  It is very detailed and obviously well researched.  I read the whole series.  Here’s my review.

The Caves of Etretat (Book One of Four)

Fatal Induction: Professor Bradshaw Mysteries #2 by Bernadette Pajer-A great mystery with well rounded secondary characters.  Here’s my review.

Fatal Induction: A Professor Bradshaw Mystery

The One Book of Etretat: Book Three of Four by Matt Chatelain-The third book in this series was gripping!  There was so much to wrap my mind around.  Here’s my review.

The One Book of Etretat

Persephone: Daughters of Zeus #1 by Kaitlin Bevis-I love Greek mythology, and this young adult retelling centered on Persephone and Hades captured my interest.  Here is my review.