The Heisenberg Legacy

The Heisenberg Legacy, another mystery/suspense/thriller in e-book published, copyright and authored by Christopher Cartwright.

This 11th book in the Sam Reilley series begins with a prologue in which Oberstleutnant Wilbert Gutwein takes off from the Luftwaffe Airfield in Stuttgart with the first ever nuclear bomb. The date is 22 January 1945 and his target is Washington, D. C. Numerous problems are encountered causing him eventually to attempt to crash land in a snowstorm in an unknown valley. The landing is successful but further problems result in his being the only survivor. He has little to no chance of completing the mission at the moment, so with proper identification, a large amount of American money provided by his Nazi superiors and a good knowledge of the English language, he becomes Willian Goodson and proceeds to find civilization and integrate into the American scene. The story itself then opens at Green-Wood Cemetery in present day New York where young Alex Goodson is attending his father’s funeral – a man with whom he had established little to no familial attachment. He is ready to leave the distasteful scene anyway when he is informed that he is to return to meet with a prominent New York Bank representative. Here. he learns that his grandfather, Wilbert Gutwein, with whom he always had been close, had left him an enormous amount of money, completely bypassing his father with whom he had not even spoken for years. Alex, to say the least, was a highly unusual young man who spent most of his time with computers, much of it playing the games offered. He equated poorly with people and avoided them when at all possible. Thus he used a large amount of his inheritance to establish a game center where he could endlessly indulge his whims. Sam Reilly enters the story in Chapter Four arriving in Washington, D. C. He knew the city well because after joining his father’s business he was the one designated to do all business there – his father, “although obsessed with money and power was practically paranoid about going anywhere near the place”. Sam had been summoned to the Secretary of Defense’s Office where she asks “What do you know about the German nuclear weapon project during World War II?” He replies little other than that early in the 1930’s a scientist named Werner Heisenberg was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for creation of quantum mechanics and paved the way for the atomic bomb. From this point the momentum moves into high gear as Washington is placed under threat of being turned into another Nagasaki by that bomb that had arrived in Maryland in 1945. Sam is forced by an unknown person providing clues through instructions by telephone, to play a game of discovering the proposed perpetrator by chasing down clues offered by him. The prize – no detonation of the bomb if he is successful. Further details of the part played by Sam, Alex, members of Sam’s ‘team’, powerful political and military figures and members of both Alex and Sam’s family emerge in a tantalizingly mixed pattern.

Discussion: To provide further details of this tale would be a disservice to the dedicated followers of this author’s series, as well as to first time readers. Suffice it to say, the story is a fast-moving romp through local as well as international covert activity including distrust, deceit and brutally administered ‘cover-up’ of poor decisions, and based upon mistaken beliefs that it is best for certain state facts to be kept from public knowledge. A particular message most interestingly prominently on display and subject to open discussion today, most especially within the United States.

5* Intriguing tale; political elements engrossingly appropriate today.

 

The Cripple and the King

The Cripple and The King, A book published, copyright and written by Peter Hopkins.

The author has provided a fanciful story about the remnants of the ruling body of Nacia, an ancient empire clinging to part of its former territory. The capable ruler had been blinded by unknown perpetrators, forced to abdicate, and was replaced by his younger brother Lucan. Lucan had been married, in a desperate attempt to gain a political advantage, to Mila, sister of the ruler a powerful northern clan of sea-farers. She was attractive and strong-willed but they had managed to have a boy who would be next in line as Nacian’s ruler. Unfortunately, Lucan did not want to be king, preferred scholarly endeavors, was introspective, felt inadequate, was rude, despised physical activity and abhorred the unpleasant odors associated with most elements of living in those particular times. He hated his wife and could barely touch his son. He depended quite heavily upon a hunchback cripple who was both the castle torturer as well as resident medic and an old Captain of the Guard from days of the nation’s former glory as he manages to alienate just about everyone. Gradually, the captain insists upon teaching him the fundamentals of fighting and warfare and he discovers that some others close to him are loyal so he gradually begins to acquire, or bring forward some formerly unrecognized bits of sensible thought and planning, as he is beset with deceit, treachery and betrayal as the lords of his realm initiate war against him and each other and a huge fleet of foreign warships begin an attack from the north.

Discussion: The basic story is a variation of numerous tales arising from early world history that provides such a fertile source. Readers will find it interestingly presented but with characters with whom it may be difficult to equate, beginning with an incompetent, inconsiderate, self-centered protagonist. The pace of the action is good and he reader will find an extension of proceedings subsequent to the end of the story is a most interesting and thoughtful addition of pertinent material seldom provided by authors. The only ‘downside’ to the presentation are the occasional amusing malapropisms (e. g. the king gored, instead of gorged, himself on rich meats …) that no doubt are part of the number of proofing errors encountered.

Conclusion: Another interestingly told tale of the early somewhat mist enshrouded era when early people were struggling to build empires.

4* Interestingly told tale of early mist enshrouded empire building days.