By William Osborne
Published by Chicken House
ISBN 978 1 908435 08 08
The year is 1940. Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party have total control in Germany, and the war with Britain is building in intensity. Two German teenagers leave to begin a new life in England away from the horrors of Nazi rule.
The boy is taken in by one of his father's friends in London and sent to a boarding school. The girl settles down in a new home in London with her mother and sisters. In her spare time after school she is happy to do volunteer work with a blood transfusion service ferrying vital supplies around the capital.
Both teens think they are safe from the terrors of Nazi Germany; but they are soon to be caught up in a deadly adventure which neither of them could possibly have imagined.
In the top secret offices of the British government, the army high command comes up with a daring plan to strike right at the heart of Hitler's command. Operation Wolfsangel requires two agents from England to parachute into Germany, and track down and kidnap a young girl and bring her back to Britain. The girl's identity is secret, but her removal from Germany could bring down Hitler and end the war.
Hitler's Angel is a thrilling second world war adventure, but to enjoy all the thrills and spills, the reader has to remember this is a work of fiction, not fact. Having two teens undertake a mission as complex as Operation Wolfsangel takes a lot of swallowing - but William Osborne is a persuasive writer.
The refugee teens are recruited by the British army, trained as agents and become Otto and Leni. They are parachuted behind enemy lines to begin their mission. But who is the girl they have to kidnap, and why is she so important to the British government?
Hitler's Angel is an exciting, if implausible, read. The plot is tight and the twists in the story will keep most readers interested. Osborne is a Hollywood screenplay writer and cleverly incorporates real-life war figures into his fictional story. This adds weight to the teens' adventures.
Second world war novels are not exactly in fashion with teen readers, and Hitler's Angel might struggle a bit to find its readership. It's good that Osborne includes a couple of pages of historical notes at the end of the book, and a map of wartime Germany at the start. If you don't ask too many questions and just buy into the ride, Hitler's Angel will pass the time nicely if you're in the mood for adventure.
John Millen can be contacted on MillenBookshelf@aol.com