“WilliamDietrich...should be read by anyone who loves adventure at its grandest!”—James Rollins, author of Alter of Eden
Atthe height of WWII, a quartet of daring American adventurers pits theircunning against a cadre of Nazi S.S. agents seeking to acquire a powerfulweapon for the Fuhrer’s arsenal; today, as the Nazi specter begins to rear itshead once again, the descendants of those long-ago adventurers must unlock thesecrets of their forebears’ mission in order to save the world from Hitler’sresurgent Reich. Now, modern science and ancient Tibetan mythology surround adaring zoologist and a beautiful aviatrix who are all that stand between theNazis and world domination in New YorkTimes bestselling author William Dietrich’s Blood of the Reich, a knockout stand-alone novel perfect for fansof Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, and Thor Brad.
|Product dimensions:||4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
William Dietrich is the author of fourteen novels, including six previous Ethan Gage titles—Napoleon's Pyramids, The Rosetta Key, The Dakota Cipher, The Barbary Pirates, The Emerald Storm, and The Barbed Crown. Dietrich is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, historian, and naturalist. A winner of the PNBA Award for Nonfiction, he lives in Washington State.
Read an Excerpt
Blood of the ReichA Novel
By William Dietrich
HarperCopyright © 2011 William Dietrich
All right reserved.
Chapter OneBerlin, Germany
March 21, 1938
First day of spring, and pregnant with the same expectancy that
gripped Kurt Raeder at his unexpected summons from
Reishsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. The Prussian sky was cold, ragged
sunlight dappling the German capital with that glitter atop iron that
promised an end to winter. So might Himmler be the pagan sun to
part the clouds of Raeder's stalled career. So might Raeder win his
"We have read with interest your books on Tibet," the summons
stated. With that simple missive the explorer had been yanked out of
the ennui of his university teaching and the gloom of his wife's death,
the opportunity like the twin lightning bolts of the SS Rune.
As Raeder walked from the U-Bahn into the heart of Nazi power,
Berlin seemed to share his anticipation. The city was its habitual
gray, buds swollen but little green on the trees yet. The paving was
bright from a night's rain, however, and the capital seemed poised,
purposeful, like one of the new steel tanks that had waited on the
border for the Anschluss with Austria just nine days before. Now the
two nations were united in a single German Reich, and once more
public apprehension about a Nazi gamble had turned to excitement
bright as the red swastika banners, vivid as a wound. All the world
was waiting to see what Germany would do next. All Germany was
waiting to see what Hitler would do next. His New Order was
improbably succeeding, and on Wilhelm-Strasse, marble blocks and
columns were stacked to the sky where the Führer's imposing
Chancellery was rising. Speer had promised completion in less than a
year, and workers scrambled across the pile like frenzied ants. People
watched, with pride.
Raeder secretly liked the theatricality of his black SS uniform and
the medieval ritual of SS indoctrination. It meant brotherhood, the
satisfaction of being one of the chosen. Entry into the new German
knighthood in 1933, suggested by a politician friend, had been a way
to establish Aryan ancestry and win a measure of grudging deference
in a university system glacial in its advancements. But while appointments
had come quicker with the exodus of the Jews, Raeder's brief
fame had not solidified into promotion.
University intellectuals were snobbish toward the Nazis. At school,
Raeder had mostly avoided the costume, preferring to blend in with
high starched collar and restricting tie through years of brief celebrity,
dull instruction, and finally private tragedy.
But now the Reichsführer SS had somehow taken notice. Here
was the hinge of Raeder's life. So the young professor had put on the
Schutzstaffel uniform with its runic insignia, both proud and
self conscious. When his faculty colleague Gosling spied him from a café
and joked about it, the zoologist managed the good humor to shrug.
"Even scholars have to eat."
Life, the Nazis preached, was struggle.
Raeder knew he cut a fine SS figure. Brown hair a shade too dark
to be ideal, perhaps, but handsome and fit from his explorations:
erect, wiry, what a German youth might wish to be, the new man,
the Aryan prototype. Crack shot, alpinist, university scholar, hunter,
author, and scientist for the Third Reich. Lotte's death had not been
publicized, out of deference to his achievements. His self-doubt he
kept to himself.
Almost unconsciously, Berliners swerved around his uniform on
the crowded Wilhelm-Strasse, a caution he accepted as normal. The
SS was not to be loved, Himmler had preached. But Untersturmführer
Kurt Raeder, adventurer! His resolute gaze had been in magazines.
Women swept by him and peeked.
Pedestrians thinned as he walked past the sterile, massive headquarters
of Göring's new Air Ministry, the power of the Luftwaffe
implied by its modernist bulk. And then thinned still more as he turned
left onto Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse and arrived at Number 8, the most
notorious address in Nazi Germany. Here was the home of the Reich
Security Ministry, which included the SS and Gestapo. Next door
was Number 9, the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais Hotel, also subsumed by the
growing security bureaucracy. To Raeder's eye the home of the police
was a more inviting structure than the plain severity of Göring's
headquarters. With classical arched entry and Renaissance styling, the SS
buildings harkened back to the more refined nineteenth century. Only
the black-clad sentries who flanked the door hinted at its new purpose.
There were rumors of Gestapo cells in the basement. There were
always rumors, everywhere, of the very worst things. This was good,
Raeder believed. Menace promised security to those who followed the
rules. None could deny the Nazis had brought order out of chaos.
While the democracies were flailing, the totalitarian models
Germany, Italy, Spain, Japanwere on the rise.
This building was the fist of the future. Raeder's future.
There was a hush inside, like a church. A grand stairway with thick
balustrade, steps carpeted in red plush like a movie palace, led up a
flight to a vaulted entry hall. The only decorations were three
hanging swastika flags and busts of Hitler and Göring. Public depictions
of Himmler were rare; his power was his air of mystery. Bare wooden
benches as uncomfortable as pews lined one side of the waiting area,
glacial light filtering in from arched, frosted windows. At the far end
three steps led to another entry (like an altar, Raeder thought,
continuing the church analogy) with black-clad guards presiding instead
of black-robed priests. Himmler had modeled his elite on the Jesuits,
and SS zeal on the discipline of the Inquisition.
Raeder's credentials were checked and he was admitted to a more
private reception area, the offices beyond barricaded by a massive
counter of dark-stained oak, stout as a dam. Now a more thorough
check, this time by a blond-headed Nordic guard of the type the SS
put on its posters. The officer scrutinized his insignia skeptically.
"An Untersturmführer to see the Reichsführer?"
Raeder showed the letter that had summoned the SS lieutenant
from his residence in the respectable Wilmersdorf district, the apartment
haunted now since Lotte's death. "The Reichsführer expects all
ranks to serve."
The comment drew no reaction from a man with the expressiveness
of a robot. "Wait."
The explorer stood stiffly as the orderly spoke into a telephone
and then returned it to its cradle. The guard didn't bother to look at
Long minutes passed. Raeder could hear the faint clack of heels
on tile, the cricket-murmur of typewriter keys and code machines, the
rumble of wooden file drawers sliding out and slamming home. Each
muffled ring of distant phone was answered before it could jangle a
second time. All was whispered, as if the ministry building had been
selected to absorb sound. Was noise from the basement muted, too?
The colors were institutional green and cream, the lights a somber
"This way, Professor Raeder."
Another SS officer, a Sturmbanführer, thicker and pinker, briskly
led him into the maze of corridors beyond. They wound one way and
another, climbed a flight of stairs, and wound again. Raeder was
(perhaps deliberately) lost. The office doors they passed were shut, shapes
moving behind obscured glass. The few people in the hallways were
male, hurried, boots drumming, conversation a murmur. The walls
were blank. Floors gleamed. The calm efficiency, the monkish
concentration, the paper-and-glue smell of a library . . . it was admirable
Then more SS guards as strapping as Vikings snapped to attention,
a double door swung open, and they came to a high-ceilinged
anteroom paneled in beech. Sentries checked Raeder for weapons
and scrutinized his identification once again. No one smiled or spoke
more than the minimum. It was a wordless play, the anteroom dim,
windowless. He was in the middle of a vast hive.
A knock on a side door, an answering buzz, and he was ushered
Raeder expected another corridor, but instead found himself in
a modest painted office, with a lower ceiling than in the anteroom
outside. A single window looked out on a courtyard, the wall it faced
blank stone. No one from outside could look in. There was a large but
plain desk, left over from some Prussian ministry, and three leather
chairs in front of it. Behind sat the second most powerful man in
Himmler looked up from a manila file and gave Raeder an owlish
blink. With round spectacles, receding chin, and narrow shoulders,
the Reichsführer SS was nothing like his praetorians outside. In fact,
he resembled a bank clerk or schoolmaster. He had a thin mustache,
pale skin, and white, fastidious, womanly hands. His hair was shaved
close to the skull above his ears in the dull helmet shape of Prussian
A much fiercer portrait of the Führer looked down on them with
burning zeal: that shock of black hair, that punctuating mustache.
The office was otherwise absent of decoration. There were no
personal pictures or mementos, just a wall of books, many of them
old, leather-bound, and cracked. Raeder couldn't read the faded
titles. The Reichsführer's desk was as neat as that of an accountant,
stacks of files with colored tabs precisely squared and ranked. Either
this was not Himmler's regular office or the Reichsführer had no
need of the baronial opulence of a Hermann Göring. The abstention
Himmler closed the folder and turned it so Raeder could discern
his own name and picture.
The zoologist did so, sinking into a chair. Its legs had been trimmed
so that he almost squatted, looking up at Himmler. The Reichsführer
smiled thinly, as if to relax his guest, but the chilliness simply
reinforced the man's power. There was something oddly vacant about
the personality he projected, as if Raeder were meeting with a facade.
Then Himmler abruptly leaned forward in a disconcertingly
intense way, with a predatory glare like an insect, eyes obscured behind
the reflection of the glasses, purpose ignited as if with a match.
"Untersturmführer," the security minister began without preamble,
folding his hands on Raeder's folder, "do you believe in the
importance of blood?"
Excerpted from Blood of the Reich by William Dietrich Copyright © 2011 by William Dietrich. Excerpted by permission of Harper. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What People are Saying About This
“Blood of the Reich showcases [Dietrich’s] best skills, marrying riveting historical set pieces to a modern, taut thriller. Evocative and deadly, bloody and harrowing, this book left me breathless and churning through the last pages until its jaw-dropping climax. Not to be missed.”
“Blood of the Reich is something new for William Dietrich. A foray into the modern world of the international thriller—loaded with secrets, conspiracies, action, adventure—but with all of the rich scope and history we’ve come to expect from a Dietrich book. Top-notch entertainment.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Nazis in Tibet--it should have been a winner I've been a fan of William Dietrich since way back when he published Ice Reich. When I read the description of Blood of the Reich, I was hopeful that he was returning to some of his strongest subject matter. Alas, while there is some fun to be had with Blood of the Reich, I have to admit that in my optimism I was disappointed. The story is told in two times through three narrative threads, two in the past and one in the present. The two narrators of the past are Nazi Kurt Raeder and American Benjamin Hood. The two had met on a joint scientific expedition to Tibet years earlier, but when Raeder's true colors were revealed, they became sworn enemies. What true colors, you ask? Well, there was a woman and "Raeder wanted one to dominate, to hear her cries..." The man's a Nazi; of course he's a sadistic murderous pig. `Nuff said. As for Benjamin Hood, he's struggled to overcome his privileged upbringing, and he can't refuse when his country comes to him for help. The Nazi's are returning to Tibet, and the U.S. wants to know what they're up to. In present day Seattle, we are introduced to protagonist Rominy Pickett, who, as the novel opens, is trying to evade the good-looking but overly persistent creep stalking her through the frozen foods section. Rominy describes herself like this, "I'm a publicist. I spend my days promoting bug-laden software that will be obsolete six months after we sell it. I'm like Dilbert." She's an everywoman that gets sucked into the adventure of her life after her supermarket stalker saves her from being blown to bits and whisks her away from everything she has ever known. Rather into go into a great deal more detail about the convoluted plot, I'll simply say that the Nazi's were searching for the mythological city of Shambala, and legends of a secret power source found there. All events from the novel spring from that basic premise, and it's not a bad jumping off place. Unfortunately, I found the execution to be significantly flawed. Where to start? Let's start with the relationships. They were all extreme. It was all love or hate in this book, and characters tended to be cartoonishly black or white. There were several romantic relationships depicted, all fairly ridiculous, though none more so than the contemporary romance, which was laughable, with dialogue like, "Can't you tell? I've fallen in love with you?" spoken a day after meeting. Ugh. Major plot twists were broadly telegraphed, leading up to Scooby-Doo-ish revelations. And while Dietrich dressed his mystical MacGuffin up in a thin veneer of science, ("Some of the Nazis believed in an energy source called the Black Sun, buried at the center of the earth. Woo-woo, right? Except not entirely different from our ideas of dark energy, an energy so mysterious we can't even detect it.") he never sold me on the basic plot. It was just too far-fetched for me. And I might have forgiven a lot of the above, had he pulled off a powerhouse ending, but the end of the novel was probably the most disappointing part of all. It all just sort of fizzled, with no firm resolution. God, I hope he's not setting up a sequel. William Dietrich is a fine writer. His prose is above average for a thriller. I know that he can create compelling characters and plots. But somehow he missed the boat this time out. Here's hoping the next novel will be more satisfying.
When Rominy Pickett is tackled in a grocery store parking lot just seconds before a bomb explosion disintegrates her car, little does she know she is about to embark on the adventure of her life. Jake Barrow, news reporter, has been working on the scoop of his journalistic career and uncovers an unusual tale involving a man named Benjamin Hood who in 1938, along with a daring young female aviatrix named Beth Calloway, flew on a secret mission to Tibet in order to head off the Germans in the search for the secret location of the legendary Shambhala. Jake¿s research uncovers some pretty colorful facts, one being that Rominy is Hood¿s great granddaughter and she might be inheriting a fortune in treasure if he can convince her that his story is real, and that she is not who she thought she was. Orphaned as a baby, Rominy Pickett¿s real name is Hood, and her life is turned upside down as Jake takes her on an adventurous journey that will have the duo playing Sherlock and Watson. Can Rominy and Jake uncover the mysterious clues Benjamin Hood left for his only remaining heir many decades ago? A safe deposit box with a white scarf, three gold coins, and a decapitated finger will point them in the direction of nothing but trouble as they piece together one man's incredible story.Alternating scenes ricochet from the Himalayan peaks of Tibet to the Cascade Mountains of Washington state. World War II era nasty German Nazi's traipse up and down snow covered valleys led by an enchanting female Tibetan monk as they scour the landscape for the lost city of Shambhala. Known for it¿s mysterious healing powers and shamanistic wisdom, the Germans have been sent to find Shambhala by Hitler in hopes of uncovering the truth that the Tibetan people are the purest of the Aryan races. In the present, Rominy and Jake have a clever fingerprint shaped treasure map to follow as they stumble through the forests near Seattle, and literally fall into an old mine where they step over a skeleton with an interesting pocket full of mysteries. Dietrich once again creates an action adventure novel to top the charts. Blood of the Reich is a concoction of mystery, romance, exotic locales, archaeological wonders, and a Pandora¿s box of chaos and calamity. His usual style of blending history and suspense with a dash of humor never lets this reader down. Two thumbs up for darn good yarn that proved to be nothing but fun!
Blood of the ReichWilliam DietrichTrade PaperbackUncorrected Proof432 pages Publisher: Harper Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 ISBN: 978-0061989186Sometimes a book is published at exactly the right moment in time and Blood of the Reich may have hit the jackpot in the way of timing. By that I mean that it may eventually sell a lot of copies due to its timely publication in correlation to the World War II Nazi stories that currently inundate the news. The Associated Press published an emotional article this past week about the grandchildren of high-profile members of the Nazi Party. Also, this week, an Ohio autoworker, John Demjanjuk, was found guilty of 28,060 counts of accessory to murder, one for each of the Jews exterminated during the six months that he worked as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Poland. This may well be the last Holocaust war crime to capture the public¿s attention. The timing may ultimately also help sales of Blood of the Reich.I enjoy historical fiction and World War II is especially fascinating to me, a child of a WWII veteran. Throw in some action and a little suspense and you have something that piques my interest. However, while Blood of the Reich has its moments, especially the intriguing pre-WWII story line, it fails to pull all the sub-plots back together into a neatly-bundled conclusion. Some suspense/action writers (Steve Berry and James Rollins, for instance) have the remarkable talent of putting us at the edge of our seats and then, as the story concludes, drawing all the sub-plot arcs together into a compact, complete, and satisfying climax. While Dietrich tells a good story and makes a descent attempt at bringing it all together I think it could have been done much better. Indeed, the closer to the finale I got the more hurried it felt. I suspect this had more to do with publication pressure rather than actual writing skill but since I have never read anything by Mr. Dietrich before this is only a guess. However, it felt to me like a book that was forced too soon out of the writer¿s hands. On the other hand, perhaps Blood of the Reich might have been more impactful and my opinion less negative had the story not already been told so well by Spielberg, Lucas, and company in the Indian Jones saga. Still, for the die-hard WWII suspense fanatics out there, you should probably check this one out for yourselves.3 ½ stars out of 5The AlternativeSoutheast Wisconsin
This a a thoroughly good read by William Dietrich. The plot is a bit far fetched but entertaining none the less.... Also read Ice Reich by the same author. His Ethan Gage books are "engaging" as well. The first book in that series is Napoleon's Pyramids.
This is one of Dietrich's better books and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I really got caught up in the descriptions of Tibet but got a little lost at the end. Anyone for Joe Black as the down and out Tibetan guide?
The author effectively flashes back and forth between the present day and pre-WWII events, which is a challenge but was well-handled. However, I agree with the review posted by The Alternative in that the ending was rushed and did not adequately tie together the sub-plots. The story was fine until the LHC events, which spoiled an otherwise well-written book; a more critical editor should have advised that the last part of the book should have been completely rewritten.
I really enjoyed reading this book, tense exciting and thrilling at all times. A great book with an enjoyable story line I could not put this book down
From the mountains of Washington, to the mountains of Tibet, from an aerie nunnery to a Nazi castle. Dietrich's latest book spans the generations from just before World War II to present day. Jump aboard and come along for an adventure filled with explosions, sex, treachery, and the ever elusive treasure of a lifetime. We begin in 1938 with zoologist and SS member Kurt Raeder, who is called to a meeting with Heinrich Himmler. The Nazis are gearing for war and the head of the German secret police wants Raeder to help assure Reich domination. Raeder is sent to Tibet to search for the legendary city of Shambhala and a power source that will give Germany guaranteed world conquest. Jump ahead to present day where publicist Rominy Pickett's life is narrowly saved by a mysterious man claiming to be an investigative reporter who knows about Pickett's ancestry. Apparently, her great-grandfather traveled to Tibet and may have brought home a secret so great people have and will kill to possess it. Together, they sort through clues, avoiding danger at every turn, in order to find what the fascists of yesterday (and their followers of today) sought in the mysterious land of Tibet. Are you ready to be immersed in the lush northwest then climb the highest peaks in the world? Are you ready to walk with Nazi loyalists and fly with a tomboy aviatrix? Oh, you know there's going to be lies and false-faces. You know there's going to be death-defying chases and heroism involved. This book doesn't drown you in scientific chaos, but stretches your imagination into 'what if' areas. If you like adventure, look no further than "Blood of the Reich." Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, author of "Beta" for Suspense Magazine
In Blood of the Reich, Anacortes based William Dietrich takes a peculiar true historical incident, in this case a Himmler sponsored expedition of German scientists to Tibet--the roof of the world--and combines it with a fictional power supposedly left by the ancients in a remote monastery awaiting the 'blood key' to unlock the secrets. Convinced of their Aryan superiority the Nazi expedition treks treacherously to the forbidden gates and discovers 'Vril' only to have its power denied them by the interdiction of an intrepid American archeologist and an adventurous lady pilot, presumably saving the world from Nazi domination--for now. Dietrich cleverly switches to and from pre-war German obsessions and a modern day thrill ride as destinies separated by seven decades race toward a breath-taking collision. Here the elements of history, fiction and the supernatural are blended seamlessly with the peculiar world of sub-atomic physics to produce an exciting page turning adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat right till the last page. A great read, and I will note for the record, Bill's work is among my favorite reading. His scholarship is evident, but always serves the story well without distraction. When you finish this one, try Hadrian's Wall or the Ethan Gage series. I promise you won't be disappointed!
Blood of the Reich William Dietrich Trade Paperback Uncorrected Proof 432 pages Publisher: Harper Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 ISBN: 978-0061989186 Sometimes a book is published at exactly the right moment in time and Blood of the Reich may have hit the jackpot in the way of timing. By that I mean that it may eventually sell a lot of copies due to its timely publication in correlation to the World War II Nazi stories that currently inundate the news. The Associated Press published an emotional article this past week about the grandchildren of high-profile members of the Nazi Party. Also, this week, an Ohio autoworker, John Demjanjuk, was found guilty of 28,060 counts of accessory to murder, one for each of the Jews exterminated during the six months that he worked as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Poland. This may well be the last Holocaust war crime to capture the public's attention. The timing may ultimately also help sales of Blood of the Reich. I enjoy historical fiction and World War II is especially fascinating to me, a child of a WWII veteran. Throw in some action and a little suspense and you have something that piques my interest. However, while Blood of the Reich has its moments, especially the intriguing pre-WWII story line, it fails to pull all the sub-plots back together into a neatly-bundled conclusion. Some suspense/action writers (Steve Berry and James Rollins, for instance) have the remarkable talent of putting us at the edge of our seats and then, as the story concludes, drawing all the sub-plot arcs together into a compact, complete, and satisfying climax. While Dietrich tells a good story and makes a descent attempt at bringing it all together I think it could have been done much better. Indeed, the closer to the finale I got the more hurried it felt. I suspect this had more to do with publication pressure rather than actual writing skill but since I have never read anything by Mr. Dietrich before this is only a guess. However, it felt to me like a book that was forced too soon out of the writer's hands. On the other hand, perhaps Blood of the Reich might have been more impactful and my opinion less negative had the story not already been told so well by Spielberg, Lucas, and company in the Indian Jones saga. Still, for the die-hard WWII suspense fanatics out there, you should probably check this one out for yourselves. 3 ½ stars out of 5 The Alternative Southeast Wisconsin
Okay, who doesn't like a book with bad guy Nazis running around? I admit I kinda wanted to like this book when I bought it. The premise reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and I did like it, though I personally found the jumping back and forth timeline kinda off. But that may have been just me. All in all, a fun read.