Mar 172013

Reinhard Heydrich, The Blonde Beast, ruled Czechoslovakia for the Nazis until he was assassinated in 1942.  One of Hitler’s favorites — how is it I was unaware of him — he was the model Aryan: tall, physically strong, ambitious, murderous, a founder of The Final Solution, and in charge of subduing a conquered nation.  And yet one Czech and one Slovak parachuted in from England with the intention of killing the highest Nazi official in their occupied country.  The book is a cliff hanger, expertly crafted, originally in French, and translated into English, so the perspective is uniquely European.  The book’s subtitle insists it is a novel, but if it is, the author’s presence as the researcher hunting for the assassins’ stories is so real, it is difficult to imagine what part of the account is fictionalized.