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A Night of Long Knives by Rebecca Cantrell
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A Night of Long Knives (edition 2011)

by Rebecca Cantrell

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1006120,775 (3.78)2
Member:natazouf
Title:A Night of Long Knives
Authors:Rebecca Cantrell
Info:Forge (2011), Broché
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:policier, Hannah Vogel

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A Night of Long Knives by Rebecca Cantrell

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I'm extremely fond of books about the 40 or so years preceding my own birth, especially the ominous time between the two World Wars. Rebecca Cantrell's books fall into that category and I've liked them a lot, although she admits to taking a lot of liberties with the history of Nazi Germany.

A NIGHT OF LONG KNIVES is the second in Cantrell's series (I hope it continues for quite a while!) about reporter Hannah Vogel. Set largely in Berlin, this volume takes place in 1934, and those familiar with history will immediately understand the title. If you enjoy reading historical mysteries, go and read Cantrell's first book, A TRACE OF SMOKE, now and then come back, because it's difficult to talk about the current book without spoiling the first.

In other words: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

As the book opens, three years after the events of the previous volume, Hannah and her informally adopted son Anton are on board a Zeppelin headed from South America to Switzerland. This is as close as
they have been to Germany since they fled at the end of A TRACE OF SMOKE. In an unscheduled landing in Bavaria, Hannah's worst fears begin to be realized and she finds herself separated from Anton and
under the control of SA leader Ernst Röhm, her late brother's lover and, he claims, Anton's father. Röhm's ultimatum: marry him (to defuse tales of his homosexuality) or she will never see Anton again. But events overtake Röhm and most other members of the SA (the "brownshirts" who helped propel Hitler to power) and Hannah escapes to search for Anton. Her search takes her to Munich and then to Berlin,
never quite sure whom she can trust. Along the way, she encounters old friends in changed circumstances and sees the changes that the years under Hitler have already brought. Through it all she is still a
reporter, risking her life to take down the stories she hears from the grieving widows and mothers of SA members killed in the Night of Long Knives. An unexpected alliance seems to be setting the stage for
further adbentures as the Thirties continue their inexorable march to war.

I especially enjoy these books because of the Berlin setting (I lived there for a year, nearly 40 years ago). Cantrell has also lived in Berlin and has done her research into the past well, yet doesn't beat
the reader over the head with it. Something I'd never encountered before was the description of what it was like to travel on a Zeppelin. A very different experience from modern air travel! Cantrell's afterword points out where she has taken liberties with history and gives updates on some of the locations. There is also a glossary of German terms which will be helpful for those who don't
speak German. Highly recommended; I look forward to more books about Hannah Vogel and congratulate Rebecca Cantrell on her Bruce Alexander Award nomination.

( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Awesome second book in the Hannah Vogel series. Takes place in Germany during the rize of Nazism. Full of details about that time period...Love it. Can't wait to start the 3rd book.
  wendytrim | Jan 16, 2013 |
This is the second book in the Hannah Vogel series. Although Hannah is determined not to return to Germany, she is helpless with the zeppelin she and her son are riding on is diverted to Munich. Hannah and her son Anton are kidnapped and immediately separated. Ernst Rohm, Anton's father, is thwarted in his attempts to force Hannah to marry him when he is executed by the Nazi's. After gaining her freedom, Hannah immediately begins to search for her son.

I thought this was a very well written book. The characters and plot were interesting and engaging. I do think that the author threw some character background in that was completely left out of the first book. For example, the first book mentions nothing about Hannah serving as a nurse during WWI. These kinds of add-ins make me think that the author wrote the first book without considering Hannah's past. Despite this, I highly enjoyed the book and will continue to read the series.
  JanaRose1 | Jun 22, 2012 |
Hannah finds herself back in Germany after her Hindenburg is forced to land in Germany and not Switzerland. Her son is taken from her and she faces many hurdles to get him back. ( )
  pharrm | Sep 3, 2010 |
Very engaging sequel to Trace of Smoke. Could not put it down and read it pretty much straight through. ( )
  lindawwilson | Jul 11, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765320452, Hardcover)

Journalist Hannah Vogel has vowed to never again set foot in her homeland of Germany while the Nazis are still in power. She has good reason: three years ago in 1931, she kidnapped her “son,” Anton, from the man claiming to be his father--Ernst Rohm, head of the Nazis' SA. A powerful man not to be trifled with, Hannah knows that Rohm will never stop searching for them.

Hannah is asked to write about a zeppelin journey from South America to Switzerland, but Switzerland turns out to be too close. The zeppelin is diverted to Munich, where Hannah and Anton are kidnapped and, to Hannah's horror, separated.

It’s unlucky timing for Rohm, however.  Hitler has ordered the execution of Rohm and hundreds of his storm troopers and is determined to wipe out any remaining traces of his name. The Night of the Long Knives has begun.

When Rohm is killed before Hannah can ascertain Anton’s whereabouts, she desperately enlists all of her remaining sources and friends to locate Anton before the Nazis do. And the Gestapo is closing in…

Thrilling and powerful, A Night of Long Knives breathtakingly recreates a shattered and betrayed city as it plunges into darkness. 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:15 -0400)

Trying to protect her son from a ruthless Ernst R?ohm, who claims to be the boy's father, journalist Hannah Vogel is horrified when her son is abducted, a situation complicated by Hitler's order to have R?ohm executed.

(summary from another edition)

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