William Dietrich and the Adventure-Filled Blood of the Reich
July 8, 2020
Using Tibet as a Pawn
Led by a ruthless adventurer named Kurt Raeder, the Nazis incur the wrath of the British early on as they brazenly traipse through British-held territory in vividly imagined passages highlighting the juxtaposition of the native cultures against the harsh efficiency of the German National Socialists on a mission.
The taunting goes well beyond general distrust between pre-World War II nations as Raeder’s history with American millionaire Benjamin Hood forces a high stakes game of one-upmanship between the two.
Hood and Raeder have a personal and professional history, leaving each eager to settle the score left from their joint academic expedition to Asia four years earlier. The previously sociable Hoods eventual disappearance from public view, made known to the reader early in the story, increases the feeling of heightened tension as the two competitive rivals get closer to their mutual destination.
Contemporary Chase Around the World
In the present day, Rominy Pickett’s big dreams consist of buying a bungalow, traveling overseas and meeting a nice single man in the wine or spice section at the local Safeway. Her improbably introduction to reporter Jake Barrow changes everything when he reveals her long-hidden identity after a harrowing escape.
Although set in contemporary Seattle, Rominy’s ties to the hopes and expectations of long-dead explorers means that there are many people who want her dead, leaving her in a bewildered reactive state even as she travels thousands of miles to solve the unexpected and absolutely unwanted mystery that threatens her future.
Blood of the Reich
William Dietrich, known for his Ethan Gage series, elevates his historical thriller with memorable imagery such as the Tibetan prayer wheel that becomes a “radio beacon aimed at God” or the dilapidated cabin seen as a “trauma victim in need of emergency transfusions from Home Depot.”
Dietrichs portrayal of the Nazi expedition proves to be more entertaining through its inherent villainy than Hoods more predictable path but the Tibetan scenes beautifully explore the unstable politics, local devotion of and oppositional European questioning of a revered religion, and provide an ideal setting for danger in any era.
Reminiscent of Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blood of the Reich vibrantly captures the heart-pounding insecurity of the Third Reich’s citizens and the confusion of a modern hunted woman haunted by a past that she didn’t even know that she had.