Brotherhood of Fear is the third historical by this author featuring Willi Kraus, who is Germany’s most famous homicide detective. In this mystery it is the year 1933 and Willi has run to Paris to avoid being prosecuted as a Jew in Nazi Germany.
Willi’s reputation as one of Berlin’s best detectives doesn’t exactly make the Nazis all that happy and they go after him because he is of Jewish descent. So, Willi runs off to Paris as he thinks it will be safer for him there. He finds, when he gets there that the French don’t really care all that much about his stellar career in Germany and on top of all this Willi has to have a work permit to support himself and his two children. If he doesn’t get a work permit and is found out, he will be shipped back into Germany. Unfortunately, he is unable to get a work permit and accepts a job of following a young student for another detective not realizing that he will be involved in witnessing a murder. Then, Willi meets a man who is welcomed into the best homes in Paris and, also meets a young and beautiful woman, Vivi, and starts a passionate affair with her.
Then, as readers will soon realize, the tension begins, as during the 30’s the Nazi’s are gearing up to take over the world or, at least, their little part of it. This is an interesting book as a lot of history is told about the beginning of the Nazi Party and leading up to the fall of Poland and showing France as it was pre-WWII when the French thought that the Maginot Line was going to keep Germany out. Readers will like the narrative even though they will know what’s going to happen. Hopefully, there will be more books about Willi as it is only the early 30’s and there is a lot more time before the Germans arrive triumphant in Paris.
Paris, 1933. A refugee with no papers, no legal status, and few resources, Willi Kraus lives in fear of deportation back to Nazi Germany. His reputation as a top sleuth however precedes him, and he’s soon enlisted to work as a private eye—if under shady circumstances. Despite his apparent good fortune he finds himself a stranger in a very strange land. France is gripped by a fog of disillusionment, anxious about the tides of fascism rising along her borders. Seduced by a sultry but troubled young French girl and befriended by France’s most flamboyant financier, Willi finds himself unwittingly drawn into a murder mystery whose trail points towards the highest halls of power. Without a badge, working alone, he gradually gets the impression he’s being led into a maze. By whom and for what purpose? To escape this web of intrigue he must learn to navigate not only the grand salons of Paris but her seediest alleys and darkest canals, her smokiest nightclubs—a landscape as disorienting as a hall of mirrors, where sex, politics, money and love are often just tricks of the eye...in Paul Grossman's Brotherhood of Fear.