Blood of the Reich plays partly during the Hitler years, starting in 1938 through 1945, and partly in the present time, 2010 plus – since there are iPhones, Kindles and other modern devices mentioned. The two story-lines are told mostly in alternating chapters, one in 1938, the other in the present time, switching back and forth. The plot comes together in the last third of the book, where I was suddenly able to connect the dots.
The protagonist is Rominy, a ditsy software publicist who works in a cubicle somewhere in Seattle, until she is essentially kidnapped and taken on a wild ride, from Washington state backwoods, to Tibet and to Germany. The villain is a Nazi officer in 1938, sent on a mission to Tibet by Himmler, who wants to get a hold of powerful technology. All the bad guys are Germans, in 1938 as well as in 2010. All the good guys are Americans. All the good and bad guys want to sleep with all the girls, whether the girls are a Tibetan nun they are all after, or an American female pilot in China, or – Rominy. The Nazi doctrine is regurgitated by the villain over and over again. And the entire story is contrived to a degree that it’s hard to read. Rominy is not a credible heroine. She is ignorant of much of what is going on around her, but somehow she thinks she can take on a whole gang of neo-Nazi thugs. It just does not make much sense.
I was tempted to skip over boring scenes, but somehow the plot and its intricacies kept me reading and turning the pages. The ending was abrupt and not quite believable. I don’t regret reading this book, but I would not recommend it to anyone else, nor would I read a sequel and it doesn’t make me want to pick up another Dietrich novel.