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A Night of Long Knives

by Rebecca Cantrell

Series: Hannah Vogel (2)

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1278164,629 (3.82)8
Trying to protect her son from a ruthless Ernst Rhm, 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 Rhm executed.

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This second outing in the Hannah Vogel thriller series takes the reader back to the Germany of the 1930s and continues the fine work that Cantrell did the last time around. This time, Hannah and her young "son" return to Germany partly by choice and partly by way of a diverted airship. And that "choice" part is one of the weak links here, as there was simply no real reason for Vogel to be on that blimp in the first place, even if it wasn't supposed to ever cross into German airspace. Granted, a reason was needed to get her back to Germany from South America, but I wish that something more believable (or that would have at least made Hannah look less foolish at that moment) had been used to set the table for this story. But once I got past that bit and the way that she escaped her initial capture, things go very well story-wise. Her entire mission here is to get her "son" back, as he was ultimately not quite so lucky at avoiding capture, and he is the real reason for the interest in Hannah in the first place. So we have Hannah making her way through Munich and then Berlin in her search for the boy, and it all makes for a compelling read with no shortage of top-notch atmospheric elements. In short, this is a novel that requires a bit of tongue-biting over a few of its table-setting elements, but one which then plays out as a terrific read and a great way to spend some time with Ms Vogel once again as she goes up against the ever-growing Nazi powers that surround her. ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
Second book of the series. Three years after the end of Trace of Smoke, Hannah is travelling by Zeppelin from her home in South America with her son Anton heading to Switzerland, when they are diverted and land in Germany. She and Anton are taken to the head of the SA, Ernst Rohm, where he plans to force her to marry him. But, it is the time of Hitler's purge against political and other enemies, and Rohm is killed, but Hannah and Anton are separated. She spends the rest of the book trying to find him, which takes her to Berlin.
The book is written in the first person from Hannah's point of view. She is often very alarmist and irrational, which I often found to be annoying. Also, the time line of the action did not seem to make sense a few times. And the ending scenario is quite ridiculous. So these factors detracted from my enjoyment of the book. But I generally like books set in this time period, and it seems to be well researched. (Even though at times it seems that facts obtained through research were just throw in for their own sake.)
  BillPilgrim | Jul 14, 2015 |
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 |
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Trying to protect her son from a ruthless Ernst Rhm, 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 Rhm executed.

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