Projekt 1065

Written by Alan Gratz
Review by India Edghill

In 1943 Berlin, if you’re a boy, you’re in the Hitler Youth. Although Michael O’Shaunessey is the son of the Irish Ambassador to Germany, he’s in the Hitler Youth too. But under the cover of Ireland’s neutrality, the ambassador and his wife are members of the Resistance – and under the cover of his Hitler Youth uniform, so is Michael. It’s a dangerous game that turns deadly when the O’Shaunesseys rescue and hide downed an Allied airman; not only must they smuggle the flyer out of Berlin, but try to find the plans for the new jet Germany is developing. The father of one of Michael’s Hitler Youth companions works on the project, and Michael manages to find and memorize the plans. Now it’s only a question of getting the plans back to England – and of stopping the assassination of an Allied scientist at a meeting in Switzerland.  An assassination to be carried out by fanatical members of the Hitler Youth.  Only swift action and desperate sacrifices may be able to avert disaster.

Projekt 1065 contains some fascinating information, but it’s an uneven combination of interesting and irritating.  Michael’s far too prone to unwary talk and action. The O’Shaunesseys have heard of the top secret Manhattan Project, which seems unlikely. The climactic fight scene takes place on top of a cable car in the Swiss Alps. (Most exasperating of all, the author gets Hitler’s eye color wrong, as well as that of others of the Nazi high command.) The book reads like a Young James Bond movie waiting to happen, rather than a novel of the Resistance in war-torn Berlin.