This novel is so fascinating that, after reading the author's last book "The Moses Expedition" I was ready for "The Traitor's Emblem." This is based on a true story and I will predict that readers once started, will not be able to put this down.
In the month of March, 1940 a Spanish Sea Captain rescues four German castaways during a storm at sea. When the storm abates, the leader of the survivors gives the captain a gold and diamond emblem if the captain would please take them to the coast of Portugal instead of Spain.
Many years later in the year 2009 Captain Gonzalez' son is offered a very large sum of money for the emblem but he will not sell. The man who wants to buy the emblem tells the captain's son an astonishing story about the mysterious object.
Moving back to Munich, Germany in the year 1919. After falling on hard times, 15-year-old Paul Reiner and his mother work as servants in the mansion of Baron von Schroeder. Paul's mother is the sister of the Baron's wife. Extremely unhappy, Paul dreams of the heroic father he never knew and was told had died in a shipwreck during WWI. His mother always spoke very little of him, and the von Schroeders seem to hate him. Paul's cousin Jrgen, who is a horrible bully, hounds him at every turn, making his life not worth living. However, Paul learns, by accident, that his father didn't die in the First World War, as he had always been told but, was killed by someone very close to him, and no one seems to know the reasons. Paul decides that, from this day forward, he will give all he's got to discover who killed his father and why. His search for this information brings him into contact with Alys Tannenbaum, a Jewish-American photographer, with whom he feels an instant attraction. But Germany during the 30's and 40's were very much against the Jewish race and anyone who had anything to do with them. There was much danger and racism.
This novel is a grand and heroic read covering years in the lives and loves of Paul and Alys. There are also years of family betrayal and much vigilantism. Great characterization. The main characters are pulled apart and pushed together many times. And, of course, being in these particular years, The Nazis, who you always love to hate keep everyone on their toes. The depictions of the depression in Munich, Germany in those years are so well described that it makes you feel as if you were right there suffering among the poor. Good luck to the author, he has another best seller on his hands.
THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER. In the vein of Dumas' and Zafón's masterpieces, Juan Gómez-Jurado's The Traitor's Emblem is an epic novel spanning decades of family betrayal, impossible love and the high price of vengeance. Set against the dark and menacing streets of Depression-era Munich and the cruel rise of Nazism, Gómez-Jurado's spellbinding thriller proves again that he is a master of narration.
The Straits of Gibraltar, 1940. In the heart of a storm at sea, Captain GonzÁlez rescues a group of German castaways. When the torrent subsides, the leader of the survivors gratefully offers the captain a strange-looking emblem made of gold and diamonds, in exchange for safe passage to the coast of Portugal. Decades later, in 2002, the son of captain GonzÁlez receives a substantial offer for the emblem. He does not sell it, but the buyer reveals an astounding story behind that mysterious object: it holds the key to Paul Reiner's lifelong quest...
Munich, 1919. After his family fall into disgrace, 15-year-old Paul Reiner and his mother work as servants in the palace of Baron Von Schroeder. Unhappy and full of despair, Paul dreams of the heroic father he never knew. But one night, seconds before committing suicide, Paul's cousin reveals a terrible secret. Paul's father didn't die in the First World War, as he had always been told. He was killed by someone very close to him, and for unclear reasons. This discovery turns Paul's world upside down and from that moment, Paul sacrifices everything to discover the truth behind his father's death, even his love for Alys Tannenbaum, a Jewish-American photographer who helps him on his dangerous pursuit.