You may recall that I reviewed a book by J. Sydney Jones several months ago, The Silence that was set in Vienna in the early 20th century. When I learned that he was reissuing an earlier work as a Kindle book, I immediately bought it. This one is quite different. I had to keep reminding myself that Jones had written it. It is also set in Austria but this one occurs during the Nazi occupation of that country.
The main character, Gunther Radok, is a cop who unhappily works with Nazi forces to catch black marketeers. Then he receives a message from General von Tratten who had sheltered him and his family when Radok was a child. The man is now dead but had been like a father to him. He follows up and discovers that he has been entrusted with documents that prove the plan of the Final Solution. He is to get them out of Austria to the Allies in time for them to take action before the first Jews are delivered to Auschwitz. Be forewarned that if you are easily offended this isn't a book for you. The sex scenes leave nothing to the imagination and the violence can be stomach turning. We are talking about Nazi torture and murder here.
The characters are perfectly drawn although Lt. Col. Krahl, the main person hunting Radok and the woman with him, is just shy of a caricature. His underling, Wolf Hartmann, is one of the most hateful sociopaths you'll ever encounter. To provide some relief there is a beautiful love story between Radok and Frieda Lassen that is nicely done. Jones places much importance on the sense of place in his work so the settings are superb. You feel like you're in the streets of an Austrian town or in the mountains as they try to get to Switzerland. I enjoy that aspect of Jones' books. I do recommend this book but only if you have a strong stomach. Be forewarned that you will have trouble putting down your Kindle. I was almost apoplectic when my battery ran down just at a critical point near the end of the book.