When Noel Holcroft learns of an unexpected inheritance from his father, a long-dead Nazi leader who rebelled against Hitler, it sends him on an international journey that could end up bringing the Third Reich back to life. Holcroft is an American architect whose biological father, along with several other high-ranking Nazis, secretly embezzled a large sum of money from the German government prior to the end of the war.
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The men stole the money after learning of the Holocaust, and set the funds aside so that their sons could use it years later to pay for the wrongs committed by the Nazis. Holcroft's father was the leader of this group, and a Swiss bank has tapped the son to fulfill this destiny. The money now totals $780 million.
Holcroft sets out across Europe, looking for family members of the other conspirators. The first he encounters is the Von Tiebolt family: Johann, Gretchen, and Helden. Gretchen seduces him but does not seem ready to manage the money. A British intelligence agent gets in touch with Holcroft, but he is killed while on the phone and is unable to warn Holcroft that he is in danger.
Gretchen is then killed by her brother Johann, who is revealed to be the Tinamou, an international assassin. He is also the leader of the Sonnenkinder, a group of Nazi offspring who were raised to continue the work their parents could not finish. It turns out the money is actually intended to build a Fourth Reich and restart the Nazi plan to take over the world.
Holcroft and Helden flee from Johann, and meet up with an Israeli secret agent named Yakov Ben-Gadiz. Holcroft is shot in Geneva, and Johann gets the money, creating a world security organization called Anvil in response to the fear sown by the Tinamou assassinations.
Anvil is taking its first steps toward creating a new world order when Holcroft, in disguise and using a sniper rifle, kills Johann. He and Helden had been training in secret with Ben-Gadiz after recovering from the attack in Geneva. The novel ends as Holcroft plans to kill the remaining members of the Sonnenkinder.
Best part of story, including ending:
The twist at the end, where the bad guys have succeeded at getting the money but are now being hunted one by one, is a strong finish. Holcroft appears weak and clueless throughout the novel, so it is satisfying to see that he becomes strong and resourceful at the end.
Best scene in story:
Johann kills Gretchen moments after having sex with her by sliding a long needle between her fourth and fifth ribs, puncturing her heart. It sounds like a terrible scene, but it effectively shows how ruthless and awful Johann truly is.
Opinion about the main character:
Holcroft is totally clueless for 98 percent of the book. His antagonists are constantly several steps ahead of him, and it takes him nearly the whole book to realize he's fighting a losing battle for the money, since his opponents will do anything to get it. Only at the very end, after he's been shot and left for dead, and the money taken from him, does he begin to go on the attack, rather than always running.