Pages: 383 (Paperback 2009)
Xavier March, Charlie Maguire
Fatherland is the brilliant historical murder mystery thriller from Robert Harris. Set in an Alternative history, Fatherland is based in Berlin 1964 which is ruled by the German Third Reich after their glorious victory over the War Time Alliance in 1945.
The story follows Xavier March, a Kriminalpolizei inspector set with the task of solving the mystery behind the murder of a high classed Nazi Party leader. During the search for the murderer, March stumbles across a conspiracy hidden from the German people. With the help of an American journalist ‘Charlie’ Maguire, March tries to bring this terrible conspiracy to the surface which could result in the end of the German Third Reich. However this all happens within one week of Adolf Hitler’s 75th Birthday and the Gestapo are on the look for anything that may disrupt the birthday celebrations. Unfortunately for March, they are on his case.
This was a great book. Harris gave a very good account of what he thought 1960’s Berlin might have been like if Hitler had won. Harris explains how the Germans won the war in a very plausible way. It was packed full of historical detail which makes the novel seem much more believable. The story behind the conspiracy is really sinister making you want to get inter-twined with the characters and the mystery. You also really feel for March. He is stuck in a world that is totally authoritarian where not conforming to the system my lead to torture or death.
All in all this was a great read; I would suggest it to anyone who likes Robert Harris and also to anyone how like 1984 by George Orwell. It is quite similar in the way that both the main characters live in a society which they don’t want to conform to.