Verdict: While there are parts of the book that are fast-paced--and the historical information provided is both fascinating and compelling--there are numerous occasions in which the story stalls and reads as a history class lesson on the evil doings of America’s shadow government.
Murder of an American Nazi is a story about small town police detective Don Hayes whose obsessive search for the truth leads him from a seemingly simple murder investigation down an insidious path of espionage, cover-ups, and violence.
He discovers that the man killed in his Southwestern Illinois town was really an ex-Nazi repatriated to the United States after World War II for his knowledge of rockets and interrogation techniques. While investigating this man’s life he uncovers some of the biggest secrets of the CIA–from the JFK assassination to the Iran-Contra affair. He also meets numerous people who suffered at the hands of this man and recounts their stories of how they attempted to strike back at the government that abandoned them.
The story reads more like a text book for conspiracy buffs than a work of fiction and is basically a monologue given by the protagonist to his friend, a history professor at Southwestern Illinois University. While there are parts of the book that are fast-paced–and the historical information provided is both fascinating and compelling–there are numerous occasions in which the story stalls and reads as a history class lesson on the evil doings of America’s shadow government.
It was also a bit of a stretch to believe that a small town cop could have uncovered all this information. This book would have worked much better if we could have followed detective Haynes along his investigative path uncovering the puzzle piece by piece and slowly fitting it together. What it felt like was a head-spinning barrage of facts and characters that sometimes became confusing. The characters had depth but we hardly get to explore them as the monologue style keeps ruining these moments.
Reviewed by Christopher Rudy
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