Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the people of the United States were
divided in their opinion on the war in Europe. Many favored an isolationist
approach to the war, while others saw U.S. military intervention as
inevitable. Most prominent among those who believed in the latter view was
President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt was in his second term of office
in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland and Austria. His opposition to the war
was a clear threat to Hitler's plans, as was his willingness to supply
weapons to England. Roosevelt's departure from office by any means possible
would have relieved some of the worries of the captains of the Third Reich.
Stealth Press gives us a "what if?" look at World War II with its reprint of
a 1985 thriller by novelist Noel Hynd. Flowers From Berlin tells the story
of an American isolationist who turns traitor and the three people who try to
prevent him from killing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The book starts
off slowly but gathers momentum as it moves from background material on the
main characters to the actual hunt for the Hitler sympathizer. Using
impeccable credentials to cover his crimes, the American operative feeds
information to German intelligence and sabotages British ships carrying war
material from the U.S. to Britain. His ultimate scheme, to plant a bomb on
the President's yacht, is aided by a high level agent in the U.S. government.
Information from a German defector eventually leads to his capture, but the
bomber escapes custody and accomplishes his mission before his three pursuers
have a second chance to stop him. The presidential yacht explodes only hours
after Roosevelt steps on board.
Flowers From Berlin takes an interesting look at a scenario that could have
changed the course of World War II. Hynd gives readers a view of the early
British and American intelligence systems and the FBI's role in hunting down
saboteurs and spies. Written from multiple viewpoints, the story shifts
between spy and pursuers in a satisfying fashion. The book is obviously not
meant to reflect historical accuracy in all its details, but it is a good
tale nonetheless from a writer whose later works earned him much acclaim.