A stunning World War II "what if" thriller in which the fate of Europe-and of its remaining 3 million Jews-hangs in the balance.
Autumn 1943. Since Stalingrad, Hitler has known that Germany cannot win the war. The upcoming Allied conference in Teheran will set the ground rules for their second front-and for the peace to come. Realizing that the unconditional surrender FDR has demanded will leave Germany in ruins, Hitler has put out peace feelers. (Unbeknownst to him, so has Himmler, who is ready to stage a coup in order to reach an accord.) FDR and Stalin are willing to negotiate. Only Churchill refuses to listen.
At the center of this high-stakes game of deals and doubledealing is Willard Mayer, an OSS operative who has been chosen by FDR to serve as his envoy. He is the perfect foil for the steamy world of deception, betrayals, and assassinations that make up the moral universe of realpolitik. A cool, self-absorbed, emotionally distant womanizer with a questionable past, Mayer has embraced the stylish philosophy of the day, in which no values are fixed. In the course of the novel, his beliefs will be put to the ultimate test.
But as compelling as Mayer is, the key players in this drama-FDR, Stalin, Churchill, and Hitler, as well as Himmler, Bormann, Molotov, and Schellenberg (with marvelous walk-ons by Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt, and Evelyn Waugh)-are astonishingly true-to-life.
Hitler's Peace is Philip Kerr in top form. With his sure hand for pacing, his firm grasp of historical detail, and his explosively creative imagination about what might have been, he has fashioned a totally convincing thinking man's thriller in the great tradition of Eric Ambler and Graham Greene.
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Philip Kerr is the author of nine widely acclaimed Bernie Gunter novels, most recently The Man Without Breath. Field Gray, the seventh in the series, was a finalist for the 2012 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Novel. Kerr has also been a finalist for the Shamus Award for Best Hardcover Fiction and he won the British Crime Writers Associations Ellis Peters Award for Historical Crime Fiction. Under the name P. B. Kerr, he is the author of the much-loved young adult series Children of the Lamp. He lives in London.From Publishers Weekly:
Fans of Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy will prize this briskly paced WWII-era spy thriller, which boasts plot twists that will keep readers' heads spinning even after they've put it down. For Willard Mayer, a 35-year-old Harvard-educated empirical philosopher, the roots of pro-Communist realpolitiking run deep. A former Princeton professor who was also a member of the Abwehr, Germany's military intelligence service, and an informer for Russia's notorious Internal Affairs Commissariat, the NKVD, Mayer during the war works as an intelligence analyst for the Office of Strategic Services in Washington—which remains unaware of his past. En route to Tehran, at Roosevelt's insistence, for the Big Three conference in November 1943 aboard the USS Iowa, Mayer believes he's uncovered a plot to assassinate Joseph Stalin. Meanwhile, Hitler and Himmler, eager to avoid engaging the U.S. in a second European front, are trying to figure out how to get around Roosevelt's demand for an unconditional surrender. The ethically compromised Mayer finds himself in the thick of the negotiations even as larger plots are afoot, including one by an SS general to bomb Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill in Tehran. Kerr is as interested in backdoor diplomatic efforts as he is in espionage and assassination, and this highly entertaining spy fiction also explores the moral quandaries of war and realpolitik.
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