Robert Harris always wanted to be a writer, but he took a career as a journalist before he could make his wish come true. He started working as a current affairs reporter and evolved to become a political editor. This has greatly influenced his writing focus. His first books were non-fictional and were related with his line of work. Then, his fictional first book “Fatherland” was a huge success and allowed him to become a full-time fictional writer.
“Fatherland” is set in an alternative reality, one where Hitler has won the war and his plans have been fully accomplished. The main character, Xavier March, is a German policeman, living his daily life as a regular person. He is fully integrated in the system, but is not fully enthusiastic about it, which harms his career… and his family life, down the line. The story starts in 1964, when preparations are being made for Hitler’s birthday, and, because of that, the reader gets a description of a glorious Nazi Berlin. In the meantime, a body is found and Xavier March is called to investigate it. However, he soon realises that this is not an ordinary murder. During the course of the investigation, he meets a foreign journalist that tells him disturbing things about the regime, something about massive murder in concentration camps… At first, he does not believe her, but he keeps on thinking about what she said and tries to uncover the truth, which puts his life in danger.
It is known nowadays that German society was completely ignorant about concentration camps and what was happening there… and “the final solution” was something that the common person was unable to even imagine. In truth, the world only knows about it is due to reports of witnesses and physical proofs. What if all witnesses were killed and proofs were erased? This book tells us how it would be like. And it is scary.
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