Why did Hitler chose not to invade England when he had the chance?
Europe, 1940: It’s late summer and Belgium has been overrun by the German army. Posing as a friar, a British operative talks his way into the monastery at Villers-devant-Orval just before Nazi art thieves plan to sweep through the area and whisk everything of value back to Berlin. But the ersatz man of the cloth is no thief. Instead, that night he adds an old leather Bible to the monastery’s library and then escapes.
London, 2017: A construction worker operating a backhoe makes a grisly discovery—a skeletal arm-bone with a rusty handcuff attached to the wrist. Was this the site, as a BBC newsreader speculates, of “a long-forgotten prison, uncharted on any map?” One viewer knows better: it’s all that remains of a courier who died in a V-2 rocket attack. The woman who will put these two disparate events together—and understand the looming tragedy she must hurry to prevent—is Russian historian and former Soviet chess champion Larissa Mendelovg Klimt, “Lara the Bookworm,” to her friends. She’s also experiencing some woeful marital troubles.
In the course of this riveting thriller, Lara will learn the significance of six musty Dictaphone cylinders recorded after D-Day by Noel Coward—actor, playwright and, secretly, a British agent reporting directly to Winston Churchill. She will understand precisely why that leather Bible, scooped up by the Nazis and deposited on the desk of Adolf Hitler days before he planned to attack Britain, played such a pivotal role in turning his guns to the East. And she will discover the new secret pact negotiated by the nefarious Russian president and his newly elected American counterpart—maverick and dealmaker—and the evil it portends.
Oh, and she’ll reconcile with her husband.
Genres: Historical Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Author: Mitch Silver
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Pegasus
Historical fiction / Political Thriller / Mystery
Hitler's bible, global warming and espionage!
I gave this book a high rating for perhaps some of the reasons others didn’t do so. I thoroughly enjoyed that there were so many interesting scenarios of historical conspiracy carrying forward to present day as well as a plot that clearly mirrors a slice of the world’s current situation. From the recent elections to the ongoing debate on Global Warming.
This is a work of fiction. Yes, there is a lot going on in this novel, but that is exactly what kept me hooked!
Larissa Mendelova Klimt, former Chess champion and temporary transplant to the USA, is a professor of Geopolitical History. She spends a lot of her time in archives studying historical documents and giving lectures in her field of work. She is nicknamed ‘the bookworm’, but the title of the novel really refers to the way a particular worm left its traces on old parchment paper in the past, aiding in today’s process of examining documents for their origin, validity and dating.
Her twin brother Lev works at an Alaska oilfield, monitoring the flow in the pipelines and the quality of the oil that runs through the pipes, which will further come to play on the plot sideline.
Air Force One
The president is on route to Moscow for the G20 summit. As it is present time, he is busy leaving tweets and comments on social media that may insinuate the current US president. There are riots to be dealt with near the summit that allures the reader of a large tragedy to happen.
Alaskan Wilderness Reserve
Lev and his American coworker notice that the smell of the oil is off and the texture of the oil is not right. Upon further investigation, they give it some time to let more flow go through to retest at a later point. When Lev checks on his coworker who went missing the next day, he checks his laptop that shows, he was sent attacking threats via emails. Come to find out, his American coworker ended up dead, a committed suicide over “girlfriend trouble” as the news reported it. In reality Lev’s coworker was actually gay, so Lev knows something isn’t right. He contacts his sister, but their connection abruptly cuts off. In fear and curiosity, Lev is taking matters in his own hands to investigate what really happened to his co-worker. This gets him into life threatening danger. Apparently there is a secret drilling war going on at the preserve, and Lev really needs get in touch with his sister to help him expose what is happening.
The British intelligence is comprising a scheme against Hitler to deter the Battle of Britain. They are forging a prophecy by Nostradamus that is to be imprinted at the front of a bible and to be presented to Hitler. This prophesy would lead Hitler to go after the East instead of England if he were to act on it. Changing the outcome of history as we know it today.
Larissa Klimt is given six cylinders that hold recordings from the 1940’s made by Noel Coward during the Winston Churchill administration. She is to translate them into Russian. Slowly she finds out about the said prophecy that would lead Hitler to open war on Russia. In Larissa’s hands, this creates a dangerous weapon, as she herself becomes a pawn in the game of politics while tracking down this infamous bible.
One of themes at this summit are the effects of global warming and dwindling energy resources. The current US president does not endorse global warming and is proposing commercial drilling in Alaska. The ownership and usage of the oilfields in Alaska have been regulated years ago, but the Russian leaders would like to offer the US a deal to drop the opposition of the Russian Arctic Claim and provide the US with the successful supply of oil drillings. Secretly, this would further maintain a US dependence on fossil fuels.
But how does that explain the findings that Lev made in his investigations?
Larissa is pretty clever. As something fishy goes on with one of the reporters on the news who is hinting at secret oil drillings, she is beginning to realize the bigger picture. As she is translating an important interview on the job, she guides her words in a way of targeting those that are trying to convolute what is going on in the present, with a decoy of what happened in the past.
Will this do the trick and expose the wrong doings going on or put her into danger like so many others before her?
I feel way under-qualified to write a comprehensive review of this novel. There are further elements, names and events presented that I am not even hinting on. But that is what made it such an entertaining and baffling read for me. Thrown off by facts wrapped in fiction, made the novel seem much more plausible then far-fetched. That is exactly what I loved about it. I think it would make a great move too.
Please check out other reviews to broaden your perspective. I’d hate to mislead you. Unless you are solely looking for accuracy in facts then don’t read it. But if you enjoy a decent fictional and mature plot-line at a great pace with a dash of history and espionage in it GO FOR IT and ENJOY!