cover image The Nazi Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill

The Nazi Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill

Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch. Flatiron, $29.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-77726-3

Meltzer and Mensch follow up The Lincoln Conspiracy with an action-packed account of the German plan to assassinate the leaders of the U.S., Britain, and the Soviet Union in Tehran in 1943. The story begins after the plot has been discovered, with Franklin Roosevelt hunkered down in the back of a nondescript car on his way to the Soviet embassy while his body double rides through the city’s streets in a presidential motorcade. From there, the authors flash backward, recounting the attack on Pearl Harbor; Allied assassinations of enemy leaders, including Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto; and the infiltration of Iran by German spies including Franz Mayr, a sleeper agent who kept his affiliation with Nazi intelligence secret despite not getting any communications from his superiors for almost two years. Though Mayr was arrested by British intelligence, the German paratroopers he helped infiltrate into Iran remained, and when a Turkish valet assigned to the British ambassador to Iran leaked information about the top-secret summit, Nazi officials hatched a plan to use the commandos to assassinate the “Big Three”—or so Soviet intelligence officials claimed. Meltzer and Mensch acknowledge doubts about the plot’s actual existence yet convincingly argue that it was real, and provide necessary historical context while setting a brisk, thriller-like pace. WWII buffs will be enthralled. (Jan.)