ARC Review: The Kaiser’s Web by Steve Berry

Two candidates are vying to become Chancellor of Germany. One is a patriot having served for the past sixteen years, the other a usurper, stoking the flames of nationalistic hate. Both harbor secrets, but only one knows the truth about the other. They are on a collision course, all turning on the events of one fateful day — April 30, 1945 — and what happened deep beneath Berlin in the Fürherbunker. Did Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun die there? Did Martin Bormann, Hitler’s close confidant, manage to escape? And, even more important, where did billions in Nazi wealth disappear to in the waning days of World War II? The answers to these questions will determine who becomes the next Chancellor of Germany.

From the mysterious Chilean lake district, to the dangerous mesas of South Africa, and finally into the secret vaults of Switzerland, former-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone discovers the truth about the fates of Hitler, Braun, and Bormann. Revelations that could not only transform Europe, but finally expose a mystery known as the Kaiser’s web. 

Here comes the time for my yearly ritual, a new Cotton Malone book. They never fail to make me excited and I definitely needed that on a day when I was feeling sick. And I’m even more glad that I got to read this early.

Every book in this series has been something I’ve read mostly in a single sitting because the author captures my attention right from the prologue and I can’t stop myself. As someone who loves books related to Nazi Germany and WWII, the plot of this one was fascinating and I really loved how the author mentioned all the actual historical events in his note. That’s definitely one of the things which brings me back to this series every year – in the middle of all the impossible plot lines and amazing chases and action sequences, I also get to know some real history and visit some amazing new places through the book. I especially loved the descriptions of the locales in South Africa and some of the estates which were visited by the characters.

It was also exciting to see Cotton and Cassiopeia together for a whole book after a long time. They really do make a wonderful team and I enjoyed this adventure with them. All the side characters were also well developed, especially the two politicians whose dramatically opposite ideologies were fascinating to read about. I was actually surprised that the author didn’t shy away from expressing his political views through the characters, but his alarm over the rise of far right political parties and their violent extremism all across Europe is genuine and something we all need to keep an eye over.

In the end, this book gave me everything I was expecting – a cool adventure, an interesting twist on historical events, lots of political intrigue and some fun globetrotting. If these are some elements you enjoy, you should totally read this book. Even though this is part of a series, I think it works fine as a standalone. But as a huge fan of the series, I would always recommend that you start at the beginning and enjoy the journey. 

PS: Thank you to Minotaur Books and Netgalley for providing me with this advance copy. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and solely mine.

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