The Man in the Bunker

Written by Rory Clements
Review by Helen Johnson

Germany, 1945, a devastated country, haunted by devastated people. Trawling these ruins are British agents and truth-seekers, Tom Wilde and Mozes Heck. Did Hitler really die in his Berlin bunker? Or was this a hoax? Did Hitler, in fact, escape to hide in his beloved Alps?

Tom, Cambridge professor turned intelligence officer, hopes for peace and reconciliation. Mozes, a Dutch-Jewish British Army officer, is hell-bent on vengeance. Together, they track down and question witnesses from the bunker. But somebody doesn’t want them to find the truth. As the pair gain information, the body count rises.

Clements paints a vivid picture of the chaos and trauma of postwar Europe, highlighting the plight of ‘displaced persons’: those who had lost everything. Wilde and Heck personify the extremes of how to react: revenge, or reconciliation? At heart, this book is a workmanlike thriller, with suspenseful threats to lives. Wilde and Heck glean clues from a long list of interrogations, and I was beginning to lose track of all the names. However, my patience was rewarded, as the pace quickened to a final act full of plot twists and movie-style action.

Ideal for those who like a fictive twist and thrilling action to pull them through the history.