cover image Prisoner of Night and Fog

Prisoner of Night and Fog

Anne Blankman. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-227881-4

Gretchen Müller has grown up in 1920s Germany believing her father sacrificed his life to shield “Uncle Dolf” from a fusillade of police bullets during Hitler’s failed 1923 attempt to overthrow the government. Because of her father’s martyrdom, Gretchen’s family has enjoyed favored status among the Nazis; she is now Hitler’s “favorite pet,” and her (terrifying) older brother works as one of his thuggish Brownshirts. Then Gretchen meets Daniel Cohen, a young reporter who has evidence that her father was not a Nazi hero, but a murder victim. Gretchen refuses to believe it, but as she undertakes her own investigation, she realizes that many things she had accepted as truth are lies. Debut novelist Blankman’s account of life in Munich prior to Hitler’s 1933 elevation to the chancellorship is completely engrossing. In an afterword, she separates fact from the fictional characters she created; a three-page bibliography is appended. Concocting a murder mystery featuring one of history’s most well-known figures is risky, and some scenes test the limits of plausibility. But Blankman creates riveting tension for her heroine and pulls readers through with an irresistible subplot featuring forbidden love. Ages 13–up. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Apr.)