cover image The Man with the Iron Heart

The Man with the Iron Heart

Harry Turtledove. Del Rey Books, $27 (544pp) ISBN 978-0-345-50434-0

In this disturbing novel, Turtledove examines the possible responses of the U.S. Army, Congress and ordinary Americans if they had been confronted with asymmetrical warfare after the official surrender of Nazi Germany. In our time line, number two SS leader Reinhard Heydrich was killed in 1942. In this novel we see what might have happened had Heydrich survived and lived to lead a grassroots resistance movement. Borrowing ideas from their late Japanese allies, the fanatics of the German Freedom Front launch a campaign of suicide bombings, kidnappings and assassinations. The Russians respond with calculated brutality, while the mother of a slain American soldier pressures President Truman to bring the boys home. The parallels to the current situation in Iraq are obvious but cleverly drawn, leaving readers on both sides of the war debate with much to think about.