Next week Rebecca Cantrell's brilliant debut novel A Trace of Smoke will reach the bookshelves of Hawaii and California see here. This novel is getting fantastic reviews and I am pleased to be among the first on this side of the Atlantic to sing its praises.
See some of the reviews here and read interviews and links to my interview with Rebecca here.
At the end of the novel Rebecca includes an excellent glossary, which readers might want to look at before they read the book if they are not conversant with the period. There are also comprehensive author's notes which refer to many of the books read during the exhaustive research in writing SMOKE.
One of these The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer was the first book I read on this subject and is an very good read. A more recent book covering the subject from a more academic approach is The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. Evans, Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University.
'Ernst Rohm really did exist.'
This sentence in the authors notes expresses one of the difficulties in writing historical crime fiction for a general readership and including real historical figures. Will the reader realise the author has taken the real life characteristics of Ernst Rohm [his homosexuality and military background] and created fictional encounters for him? Or will they think the character is totally fictional?
I think the use of Rohm works very well in the story and certainly educates the reader about one of the most important figures in the Nazi hierarchy, who was one of Adolf Hitler's closest friends.
I am really looking forward to the sequel set in 1934, and called A Night of Long Knives.