Friday, 9 September 2011

Book Review: Fourth Reich Rising by Tom Schwartz

Fourth Reich Rising (Jack Shepherd Mystery Thrillers)Sometimes reading a book at a particular point in time heightens its impact, and that was definitely the case with this one. Unwilling to accept the defeat of Hitler's Third Reich the children of members of his inner circle plan to use their children to reignite the flame and bring about the reign of the Fourth Reich. A key part of their plan to rise to power is bringing the USA to war with Islamic countries and heightened racial tensions by carrying out a major terrorist attack on New York on the anniversary of 9/11 and laying the blame at the feet of Al Qaeda.

This book had a particular resonance reading it approaching the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and it felt quite strange reading some of the book on the days the events were meant to be taking place. Sadly, but not entirely unexpectedly I turned on the news this morning to see alert levels have been raised in the US because of a credible threat. I just hope to God we never see a repeat of the events of almost ten years ago!

The book is written from two main perspectives, that of the members of the new Aryan Way Party and that of an assembled group on cruise ship Oceanic who find themselves as the last line of defence against the weapon the Fourth Reich is planning to unleash. As I read I felt that I got a better feel for the group trying to unleash hell than I did for the good guys. It seemed an unusual approach, but since finishing the book I have discovered that this is not the first book of the series, the Jack Shepherd Mystery thrillers, so I imagine had I read the previous book first I would have been better acquainted with the six or seven main characters in that group.

I think the plot was good, and worryingly plausible, the solution the Oceanic team find is clever, and I really liked the updates about how the attack had affected the East coast at certain intervals after the attack (although in some places where the use of the present tense was adopted it felt a bit out of place with the rest of the book)

Had I been aware of the earlier book or books in the series and read them I think I would definitely have given this 4* but as a stand alone book there was too little characterisation of some of the key players which made me feel something was missing.

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 3*

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