Friday, March 20, 2009

Garden of Beasts by Jeffery Deaver

Paul Schumann, a button man (read: hit man), has just been captured in New York City by the feds. But he's offered an unexpected way out of his tricky situation - he'll get his record swiped clean if he does a job for a special interest group in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, that job puts him right smack in the middle of Nazi Germany during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. And the mark is one of Hitler's highest men - Colonel Reinhard Ernst, the chief man for militarizing Germany.

Paul masquerades as a journalist and arrives in Berlin, only to immediately become thrown into a nightmare involving murder, betrayal, and morality. Deaver does an amazing job with the details, deftly incorporating the Olympics into the plot, and delving into the underside of Berlin. The multi-dimensional characters, including appearances by Jesse Owens, Himmler, and Goering, make for a fast-paced, gripping read. But it is Schumann himself who steals the show.

An excellent, well-written novel, Garden of Beasts is Deaver at his finest.