Fear Itself

Andrew Rosenheim, Author
Andrew Rosenheim. Overlook, $25.95 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4683-0072-7
Reviewed on: 08/27/2012
Release date: 10/25/2012
This top-notch historical thriller from Rosenheim (Stillriver), the first in a new series, introduces 26-year-old Jimmy Nessheim, an FBI agent in the Chicago field office. In 1937, a jealous J. Edgar Hoover is looking to rid the Chicago office of staff members “tainted” by their connection with real-life G-man Melvin Purvis, who led the manhunts that tracked down Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and John Dillinger. Fortunately, FBI assistant director Harry Guttman rescues Nessheim’s career by tapping him to go undercover in the Chicago German-American community. In doing so, Guttman directly contravenes Hoover’s opposition to such covert work, but the resourceful Nessheim believes his mission has the director’s blessing. With Nazi Germany eager to keep the U.S. out of the impending European war, the stakes are high. While Rosenheim’s prose and character portraits may not match those of Alan Furst at his best, this intelligent page-turner will only whet reader’s appetites for more. Agent: Gillon Aitken, Aitken Alexander Associates. (Nov.)
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