Written by Alan A. Winter & Herbert J. Stern
Review by Peggy Kurkowski
The bonds of early friendship snap irrevocably for Friedrich Richard and Adolf Hitler in this meticulously researched and urgent sequel to Wolf by co-authors Herbert J. Stern and Alan A. Winter. Sins of the Fathers begins in 1934 as Hitler achieves the chancellorship of Germany and enacts his plans for rearmament, expansion, and the purging of Jews from Germany. Bent on a personal vendetta from the first novel, Friedrich’s sketchy past continues to dog his heels as his actions raise questions among leading lights in the Nazi echelon. But as liaison to the Führer, Friedrich is under the protection of “Wolf,” whom he convalesced with in a WWI field hospital.
Sealing their close ties are the deep secrets they share: Friedrich Richard’s amnesia from a bomb blast doesn’t allow his ancestry to be traced for “purity,” and the name he was given in hospital by a well-meaning doctor was from a dead German Jewish soldier. Adolf, on the other hand, suffered from a gas attack that blinded him; but hidden doctor reports diagnose Adolf as having suffered “hysterical blindness” with signs of psychopathy.
Stern and Winter deftly bring to life both the monsters and the saviors of these years, a veritable who’s-who of pre-war Germany in the 1930s as they portray a friendship breaking on the rocks of anti-Semitism and megalomania. Disillusioned with a man he no longer recognizes, Friedrich goes undercover to help protect his Jewish friends and plan a military coup against Hitler. But after almost 20 years of amnesia, Friedrich experiences his first, shattering memories. As Sins climaxes into Kristallnacht, Friedrich experiences one last bomb blast from his unknown past. Historically accurate and immersive, Sins of the Fathers is an intensely satisfying sequel sure to set up a smashing third act readers will eagerly await.
Wolf and Sins of the Fathers are available from Amazon and other sellers; visit www.simonandschuster. com to learn more. For those interested, Winter and Stern posted their research for Wolf online (www.NotesOnWolf.com). Skyhorse, their publisher, included their research notes for Sins of the Fathers in the book.