This is not the sort of book I would normally read. I detest war and anything that reminds me of its bleakness. However, when I realized the main character was on the flip side of so many other heroes we read about in war stories and catch as movies, I thought this might be a good study of human nature. In presenting her point of view on what the whole world considered to be the villains in WWII, Ellie Midwood did not disappoint.
The dichotomy between Ernst as a young man and Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner is well pulled together and researched in depth.
I must admit, when I first began to read, I was more interested in the goings on in Nuremberg prison than I was in early flashbacks. Yet as the chapters flew by, I began to seek out those flashbacks to understand the man behind the villain. As someone who understands how villains in a war are the ones who lost the war, as depicted throughout time, and how any humans gathering in fear can bring on ignominies of inexplicable horrors, I must say I loved the character studies I encountered in the book. ( You can check out Ellie Midwood’s amazon page: Ellie Midwood
I especially loved the speech Ernst makes to one of the MP officers while he is incarcerated when he foretells the election of a man like Hitler in the United States. The parallels are as interesting as they are chillingly real. I also loved Ernst ongoing love for Annalise and how Melita helped him find his wings. The story is not a common one, but a story worth the read: anything about our past is worth remembering if only to help us avoid reigniting the same errors.