The Man with the Iron Heart

Written by Harry Turtledove
Review by John R. Vallely

SS Obergruppenfürher Reinhard Heydrich easily qualifies as one of the leading sociopaths produced by a Third Reich, which possessed them in abundance. Harry Turtledove, a writer who makes his living through contrafactual history, has Heydrich survive the war to run an “Iraq-style” underground resistance to the Allied powers in occupied Germany. The operation is the product of Heydrich’s skillful planning and quickly catches the victorious Allies off balance. As is the case with Iraq, American voters quickly grow tired of GIs killed in what they imagined would now be a peaceful Germany. Heydrich skillfully plays on this in the hopes of driving foreign armies from German soil. Two Allied officers lead the search for Heydrich—Vladimir Bokov, a Soviet NKVD officer as comfortable with terror and killing as any Nazi, and Lou Weissberg, an American CIC officer consumed with the desire to end the bloodshed and go home. Weissberg provides a needed break from the murderous Heydrich and coldblooded Bokov as the three officers attempt to come to grips with this challenging, and chilling, postwar combat. Turtledove’s amazing ability to ask “what if” and follow his instincts once again bears fruit.