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The Nuremberg Trials.

The Nuremberg Trials

Alexander Zvyagintsev, author

Christopher Culver, translator

Glagoslav Publications

9781784379865, $29.50, PB, 432pp,

Synopsis: Postwar Nuremberg is set to host a historically unprecedented trial of the leaders of the defeated Third Reich. The whole world is awaiting a just verdict, but it is here where Soviet counterintelligence must wage a secret war against forces that seek to prevent that from happening at any cost.

Nuremberg, having been nearly wiped from the face of the earth during the harsh fighting, becomes an arena for ruthless struggles in both hidden and overt operations. Nazis are still operating underground, spies weave their intrigues, politicians and diplomats make bargains, and movie stars dazzle the public. The enormous efforts led by the USSR's chief prosecutor Roman Rudenko to expose the Nazi atrocities are threatened.

It is here where counterintelligence officer Major Denis Rebrov must operate: he has been tasked with a matter of special state importance. But in this old imperial city, the ruins of which are home to people who would do anything for a pack of cigarettes or a loaf of bread, where revelations about unimaginable crimes come out daily, Rebrov meets Princess Irina Kurakina, born to an aristocratic family of Russian emigres.

The pages of this novel abound with real historical figures. Besides the USSR chief prosecutor Rudenko and his American analogue Robert Jackson, readers will be introduced to Nazi bosses Goering, Ribbentrop, Hess and Kaltenbrunner, film stars Olga Chekhov (Hitler's favorite actress) and Marlene Dietrich, as well as the "great leader" Stalin and his closest companions Molotov, Beria and Vyshinsky.

The Nuremberg Trials is based upon real facts that were hitherto unknown and details that the author, who spent many years studying the trials, learned from participants and witnesses.

Critique: Deftly translated from Russian into English by Christopher Culver, and published with the support of the Russian Institute for Literary Translation, "The Nuremberg Trials" is an extraordinary and deftly written novel by an author who has build his narrative on a solid foundation of meticulous research. The result is an inherently engaging read from beginning to end, and a fact-based work of fiction that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Nuremberg Trials" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Paul T. Vogel


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Author:Vogel, Paul T.
Publication:MBR Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2019
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