She navigates through Berlin during the 1936 Summer Olympics under an assumed name, interacting with a turncoat SS officer, a mercenary dwarf, and an aging anti-Nazi journalist. But for reporter Hannah Vogel it’s just another episode in the long-running saga of her attempts to undermine Adolf Hitler’s government. Because she’s not just a reporter. Hannah also is an agent for British intelligence. And once again in A Game of Lies, the sensitivity of the information she seeks and her impulsive nature threaten to end her life.
In the previous two books in the Hannah Vogel series, the audacious Berlin crime reporter became embroiled in the disintegration of the Weimar Republic and The Night of Long Knives. On that violence-filled night, Hitler’s friend Ernst Röhm, head of the SA stormtroopers, was murdered, having fallen into disfavor. It’s now two years later, and Hitler has ordered Berlin cleansed of evidence of overt anti-Semitism and opened to the world. And, as the history books remind us, Hitler and Joseph Goebbels‘s fantasy of showcasing the superiority of the Aryan race in the Games was neatly upended by sprinter Jesse Owens and several other African-American competitors, who shone in the track and field events.
A Game of Lies (Hannah Vogel #3) by Rebecca Cantrell (2013) 349 pages @@@@ (4 out of 5)
A perilous assignment to report from the 1936 Summer Olympics
Hannah has arrived in Berlin from Switzerland, where her adopted eleven-year-old son is staying with her former lover. Traveling as Adelheid Zinsli, she is ostensibly in the city to report on the fencing events at the Olympics. But every time she arrives to witness an event, she runs the risk of encountering other journalists who might recognize her. And that could be fatal, since as Hannah Vogel she is wanted by the Gestapo for kidnapping Ernst Röhm’s son. Yet how else can she maintain her cover in a city overrun with Nazi thugs? Unpredictably, the danger mounts quickly when she meets her former mentor at the Berliner Tageblatt — and he dies before her eyes within seconds of greeting her.
For additional reading
Previously I reviewed the first two and the fourth entries in the Hannah Vogel series:
- A Trace of Smoke (Crime in the underbelly of Nazi-era Germany)
- A Night of Long Knives (An historical crime novel that’s good but not good enough)
- A City of Broken Glass (Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel series spans the history of Nazi Germany)
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