When I read, I inadvertently put myself in the story as I follow it in print. I begin to feel the cold, the mist, the rain, the sun and other elements of the narrative. I also put myself in the time and place where the story takes place. I can be sitting in a park on one page and riding the subway in another. In other words, I become enveloped by the story…if it is good and one that I like. In “Orders from Berlin” by Simon Tolkien, I did just that. I became a person living in London during the Blitz. I fancied myself reacting to the situations around me because the prose was so inviting.
This thriller takes place at the beginning of World War II in London and in Berlin. It is the story of a double agent who has a high place in the MI6, the CIA counterpart in England. He has the ear of Hitler through his contact in Germany. It is hard to believe that while his own country it suffering because of the bombing of London and surrounding areas, he is planning to assassinate Winston Churchill. One of his coded messages is intercepted by a co-worker who becomes suspicious of his loyalties. This is true cloak and dagger writing style. I thought that each of the main characters was very strong: Ava, whose father was murdered and whose husband was accused of his murder, seemed to grow stronger throughout the book and by the end I had a completely different idea of her character; and Trave, a subordinate detective investigating the murder who is not satisfied with his superior’s treatment of the evidence and becomes stronger throughout the book as he follows the evidence to find the truth.
I would recommend this book with no reservations. It was a wonderful spy novel and a quite believable fictional narrative about the London Blitz.
The author, Simon Tolkien is the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”.
I received a free print copy of this book in return for my honest review.