Author: Anne Blankman.
Published: April 21st 2015 by Balzer + Bray.
Sort: Prisoner of night and fog #1.
Part 1. Prisoner of night and fog.
Source: Edelweiss; publisher, thanks!
The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content. But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland. Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?
Gretchen and Daniel have fled Germany and are trying to set up a new life in England, until Daniel gets a note that his beloved nephew is in the hospital and he returns to Germany. Gretchen receives a message telling her that Daniel is wanted for murder; she returns to save him.
I loved the tension in this story. They are both wanted by Hitler for different reasons. Gretchen is a traitor of the worst kind and Daniel is the dirty Jew who tries to spread lies. They are both in danger being in Germany, but Daniel can’t rest until the world knows the truth about Hitler, the recent fire in the Reichstag and the murder on an innocent girl who knew to much. I think it’s admirable he is willing to sacrifice his life for the greater good. I’m not sure I would be unselfish enough to do the same. Gretchen is also strong and I appreciate that she sticks with Daniel. He has given her several ways out to protect her, but she is always by his side. That is true love to me.
Both characters have a good development; especially Gretchen changed a lot in comparison with the beginning of Prisoner of night and fog. From someone who loved Hitler, growing up with him as Uncle Dolf, to opposing him to save the Jews is a huge change. Anne wrote this in a very believable , subtle way. I never felt her switch to the other side was too fast. Daniel is a sweetheart and you can see his love for Gretchen in all his actions and words.
The plot might not be 100% accurate, but it did feel authentic. The unrest under the people and the chaos Hitler uses to press for more power resonate throughout the whole story. The world-building was well-balanced and I liked the setting. The mystery around the fire and murder and how we slowly unravel what’s the reason behind them was nicely done. It shows Hitler’s madness and intelligence to use certain situations for his own good.
The only thing that let me down was the predictability. Sometimes it felt like Gretchen and Daniel got off too easy; it was a bit too convenient for the story, but nevertheless a great book.