The German Heiress (US) / Finding Clara (UK)
Nearly two years after the war, Clara Falkenberg, the daughter and surviving heir to her family’s ironworks factory, has taken on an assumed identity to avoid arrest by allied forces for war crimes. The Nazis supplied the Falkenberg Ironworks with slave labor to make vehicles, tanks, and airplanes for Germany’s war effort. The celebrated “Iron Fräulein” took over the business near the end of the war and made some effort to improve the quality of life for her workers. But what haunts her through The German Heiress is the “what ifs” of her choices.
Fenshaw, a determined British officer, dogs her every move as she sets off for Essen, her hometown, to find her close friend Elisa. Clara manages to escape his capture and arrives to find her city destroyed and Elisa missing. In her efforts to track down her friend, she meets a crippled ex-soldier who, unbeknownst to Clara, would also like to find Elisa.
It all comes together in an interesting “cat and mouse” game. Scott manages to keep up the suspense while delivering thoughtful inner dialogue of the conflicted choices the main characters had to make. A few times the reactions of some of the characters push believability, but Scott is a fine writer and one who promises a great future.