In this propulsive historical thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Escaping Dreamland, a librarian and a professional assassin team up to solve a seventy-five-year-old Nazi mystery and stop a nefarious opponent from wreaking havoc on the world.
When small-town librarian Patton Harcourt comes under fire one morning while making profiteroles, she has no choice but to trust the mysterious assassin, Nemo, who shows up in her kitchen. Fleeing a pair of German thugs, the two form an unlikely alliance as they try to decipher a seventy-five-year-old message encoded by Nazis on an Enigma machine. Traveling to Bletchley Park in England, they enlist the aid of Patton’s old flame, Ruthie Drinkwater, an expert on Enigma. The trio soon finds themselves on the run, pursued by both the police and Ingrid Weiss, a white supremacist trying to unlock the secret of Heinrich Himmler’s research into alchemy. If Patton, Nemo, and their cohorts can survive a host of dangers—from trained killers to explosions to imprisonment—they might be able to prevent Weiss from acquiring untold wealth to promote her racist agenda.
In this fast-paced thriller with a thoroughly researched World War II background, a mismatched cadre of heroes, including an art historian, a museum docent, and a collector of Nazi artifacts, must work together to stop a ruthless and resourceful opponent. Racing across Europe, attempting to outfox Weiss and her associates at every turn, Patton and her team mount a complex operation. But can they withstand double crosses and dark secrets from Patton’s military past to defeat Ingrid Weiss and discover the secret of Projekt Alchemie?
This rollicking if at times overstuffed thriller from Lovett (Escaping Dreamland) opens with a bullet whizzing past the ear of librarian Patton Harcourt, an ex-military intelligence officer, at her house in Alta Vista, N.C. She's soon joined by a man who calls himself Nemo and says he has just dispatched the assassin who took a shot at her. A coded message from a WWII Enigma machine that the pair find in a book lent to Patton by an old friend prompts them to fly to Britain, where Ruthie Drinkwater, an Enigma expert and old flame of Patton's, helps them decode the message, which reveals that Heinrich Himmler believed his alchemy project to have been successful. They also learn that a small group of white supremacists, led by a woman whose grandfather was Himmler's right-hand man, is after them. Patton, Nemo, and their cohorts race to prevent neo-Nazis from acquiring untold riches in what Nemo calls "the last battle of World War II." Despite extensive backstories, the characters come off as somewhat flat, but that may not matter to readers as the pages fly by. This prose mash-up of National Treasure and Indiana Jones is fun escapist fare.