Garden of Beasts
Winner of the Crime Thriller Hound’s Book of the Year for 2004.
Paul Schumann, a German-American living in New York City in 1936, is a mobster hit man known equally for his brilliant tactics and for taking only “righteous” jobs. But when a hit goes wrong and Schumann is nabbed, he’s offered a stark choice: kill Reinhard Ernst, the man behind Hitler’s rearmament scheme, and walk free forever—or be sent to Sing-Sing and the electric chair.
The instant Paul sets foot in Berlin his mission becomes a deadly chase, with danger and betrayal lurking at every turn. For the next forty-eight hours, as the city prepares for the coming summer Olympics, Schumann stalks Ernst, while a dogged criminal police officer and the entire Third Reich security apparatus search frantically for the American.
Paul Schumann is the anti-hero, a notorious rubout man for the New York Mafia. But the Feds have him over a barrel and offer him a choice: either prison or head to Berlin as an undercover journalist with the Olympic team for the purpose of assassinating an important aid of Hitler’s, a chief of the bureaucrats who is building German's military arms.
Schumann – a German-American – is soon in danger himself, being hunted by a homicide detective. The cop named Kohl, is a talented and honest man, and both he and Schumann are soon caught up in a cat and mouse thriller leading to a terrible Nazi scheme.
Top Nazi officials, including Hitler, Himmler and Goring, all make cameos as does the US sprinter Jesse Owens. The historical detail is compelling in this evocative and haunting portrayal of Berlin in 1936. Schumann is well drawn and his romance with a German landlady adds a strong thread.
The plot is a genuine page-turner with the usual Deaver twists around every corner.
About Jeffery Deaver:
Jeffery Deaver was born in Chicago in 1950.
A former journalist, folksinger and attorney, Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His best known series features Lincoln Rhyme but all of Deaver's novels are high on suspense and twists. He is a master of the plot-driven novel.