“If you think love means secrecy, then you don’t understand what love is at all.”
Author: Anne Blankman
Publication: April 22nd 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Genre: Thriller/Historical Fiction
I often don’t pick up historical fiction novels since I am more interested in high fantasy and science fiction genres. However, I wanted to try something new so I picked up Prisoner of Night and Fog since I heard so many great reviews about it and I wanted to read it for myself. And I have to say, this is book is phenomenal!
Gretchen Müller is a German girl living in Munich during the 1930s under the the National Socialist Party and her “uncle” Dolf, or otherwise known as Adolf Hitler. Ever since her father had died protecting him, she and her family have always been revered and guarded within the party. However, everything changes once she meets a Jewish reporter, Daniel Cohen, who claims to have evidence supporting that her father’s death was in fact murder. Despite whatever she had been taught about the Jews, she can’t help but be intrigued by him and his story and finds herself growing closer to him. Together, they work to reveal the secrets within Hitler’s inner circle and by doing so discover her father’s killer.
Gretchen Müller – Naive, Kind, Goal-Oriented; Gretchen growth within this novel is commendable. I love the fact that she is goal oriented and values her education and her ambition of becoming a doctor. You also see her slowly becoming braver and stronger as the novel progresses and you can’t help but cheer for her.
Daniel Cohen – Brave, Adventurous, Smart; Daniel does at first clash with Gretchen since they both technically are on opposing sides. However, he does see that she is different from the other Party members and grows more and more surprised by her actions. Their relationship slowly progresses from adversaries to friendship and eventually a sweet yet forbidden romance.
When I first started reading this novel, I found the beginning to be quite mysterious yet intriguing and at some times a bit slow; however, the author does this for a reason. You see her slowly placing pieces together bit by bit which lead up to some terrifying events enough to make your skin crawl.
Although a general summary of this novel may lead one to believe this is a romance novel, please do not that fool you. It is actually a fantastic thriller and mystery book with a sprinkle of romance which takes a back seat to the action and I loved that aspect of the book. The main mystery surrounding Gretchen’s father was what kept me so intrigued and the character development is absolutely stunning.
By the end of the book, Gretchen is not the same person we meet in the beginning. And the transformation happens in a gradual pace which makes this more realistic. Because of this, she has become one of my favorite female leads of all time. Our male lead, Daniel, also deserves some praise since he was an absolute pleasure to read about. He is portrayed as smart, courageous, and adventurous and you can’t help but fall in love with his personality.
Overall, if you are looking for some historical fiction novels I highly recommend you pick this one up! And if you happen to read it, definitely look into the author’s note in the end. You can tell that she placed a tremendous amount of time and effort researching Hitler’s inner circle and learning every small detail which is probably why this book feels so real.
I hope you all will give this book a chance! It will make you tear up, it will make you smile, it will make your heart race and it will most certainly make you absolutely terrified!
Until next time, keep reading and I will be back with another bookish post!