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The Bleiberg Project is the first in a new thriller series by the French author David Khara. I enjoy thrillers about WWII so I eagerly started reading it once I downloaded it from NetGalley.
Let’s just say that the beginning confused me a lot. It jumped between past and present a lot and since I was not yet familiar with the main characters, I really had to focus to follow the story. Eventually, though things started to come really well together and I found myself tremendously enjoying the book.
Jeremy Corbin is a successful Wall Street trader with a mother in the nursing home and a father that is simply dead to him, as he had left the family when Jeremy was still a child. That’s why Jeremy even changed his family name to that of his mother’s – Novacek – to have nothing to do with his dad anymore.
To his big surprise, Jeremy soon learns that his father is now really dead, and when he brings the news to his mom, she tells him that everything Jeremy knew about his dad was wrong.
Alternating with Jeremy’s discovery about his dad and a cat and mouse game that follows it, we get thrown into various past events around the times of the Second World War with the Nazi Germans trying to create a superhuman through something called The Bleiberg Project.
The flashbacks in the story range from Hitler’s imprisonment to Rudolf Hess’s attempt to escape his fate and miserably failing, to the birth of the said project and the bidding war for the Nazi scientists between Western major governments.
Going back to the present to Jeremy, he is now accompanied by Jaqueline Walls, a petite but very skillful young CIA woman who has the role to protect him in his journey to recover some of his dad’s belongings that would shed some light into who his father really was and what he was entangled with all these years..
Enter the game Eytan Morg, a mountain of a man as dangerous as assassins come. However, this time around he is not there to kill his given mark – Jeremy but to protect him. Now the three of them have to face skilled killers who not only want what Jeremy has from his dad but also to kill them without mercy. Jeremy might be a star when it comes to crunching numbers and trading online, however, he is no match for anyone who is after him.
Luckily Morg and Jaqueline are there to get his back every step of the way.
The ending was interesting, but let me just say that I knew right from the start who the ‘child’ was and the discovery at the end was nothing new to me. It was pretty predictable in fact, though it didn’t deter from the fun of finding out more about the Consortium and its main goals. Of course, the very last page opens neatly an avenue for a second book in the series, which I can’t wait to read once it’s translated to English (from what I understand David Khara has already written 2 additional novels in French in this series).
The story was fast-paced, I enjoyed all the WWII scenes (having lived in Eastern Europe for the first 20 or so years, we’ve learned a lot about our history with the Nazi Germans and how we finally won over them, so all this was sort of familiar). Of course, Hitler’s grand idea for a superhuman Aryan species is nothing new either, and I fancied the author’s take on this theme.
The characters were a delight to learn about. Jeremy has a fun way about him with his crackpot remarks even in the direst situations. What I would have liked to see more is a relationship development between Jeremy and Jaqueline, as there seems to be a real attraction between them, that sadly was left for the most part untouched.
Eytan Morg is a very interesting guy that I wouldn’t mind reading more about in the next installment – and I am glad to learn that the following two books in the trilogy are about him as the main character.
I enjoyed the writing, and the English translation by Simon John was skillfully done, so without having read the original French novel I feel that nothing was lost in translation.
Overall a great book, the only reason I only give it 4 stars is because the first 50 pages or so were kind of confusing and hard to follow for a casual read due to the jumping back and forth between various times.