The Reich Device

Written by Richard D Handy
Review by Richard Tearle

Leipzig, 1933, and a scientist, Gustav Mayer, makes an amazing discovery regarding rocket fuel. However, he is being watched by both the British SIS and the newly formed German SS under Chancellor Hitler. British operative Daniel Nash is sent first to protect the scientist and later, after this has failed and Mayer is held and being interrogated by Commandant Kessler of the SS, to kill him. Meanwhile, Oliver Heinkel is sent to America and South Africa to obtain funding from German sympathisers.

This is a very fast-paced novel with lots of action interspersed with changes of scenery and even a little romance thrown in. Albert Einstein himself makes a couple of brief cameo appearances.

There were a couple of typographical errors – including the misspelling of a well known English public school – and a continuity problem where a character appears to cross from Hamburg to New York by sea in a matter of a day. I also felt that there were a couple of loose ends regarding the fate of two of the major characters. An experienced editor would have picked up these, so maybe a re-edit would be worthwhile?

Nevertheless I enjoyed the book immensely.