Author: Anne Blankman
Provided Synopsis: In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.
Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.
And Gretchen follows his every command.
Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.
As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?
Review: Eight years after Klaus Müller sacrificed himself, as a human shield to protect Hitler, all his daughter, Gretchen, knows is the teachings of the National Socialist Party thanks to her Uncle “Dolf”. While he grows power and influence in Munich, Gretchen is his “pet” and one of the poster children for the Aryan race he advocates above all others. If it were not for other circumstances she might have been able to live that life forever. But everything changes when a young Jewish reporter, named Daniel, brings to her attention that it is likely her father was murdered by his own party rather than as a voluntary human sacrifice like all of Germany believes.
After the possibility of a murder has been placed within her mind, Gretchen is unable to push it aside. She launches into preliminary investigations of her own, which in turn allow her to see more than she ever had before. Gretchen begins to think with her own mind rather than function as she had been taught to for so long. The mystery of who killed her father and why engrosses her and Daniel, while taking them closer and closer to the truth and the dangers about the man the Germans call the Führer.
Besides the mystery aspect there was another part of this book I really enjoyed: the psychoanalytical look at Hitler and Gretchen’s older brother, Reinhard. Both men are very similar, and the knowledge Gretchen cultivates about the two of them was incredibly interesting, to say the least. This analytical look was by no means deep and it was based on the author and some other’s opinion of Hitler, yet it created a very clear picture of the characteristics of psychopaths and could do a great deal to persuade readers to do further research on the subject to determine if Hitler truly fits into that category. At first, I was disappointed this book was the first in a series (because lets face it — it seems as if every YA book has to be part of a series these days) but this book surprised me with how well it placed me within the climate of Germany before Hitler goes on to become Chancellor. I look forward to seeing where the story can go.