The Girl from Berlin

Gruppenführer's Mistress

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
397 Pages
Reviewed on 11/29/2015
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Author Biography

Ellie Midwood is a New York based author, who loves writing about her city and its people. She's a health obsessed yoga enthusiast, a neat freak, an adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in Brooklyn with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Girl from Berlin: Gruppenführer's Mistress is the second book in Ellie Midwood's historical fiction series, The Girl from Berlin. Annalise realizes that she is playing a very dangerous game when she asks for Gruppenführer Dr. Kaltenbrunner's assistance in exacting revenge on her boss, Reinhard Heydrich, but she's mad with grief over his complicity in the suicide death of her brother Norbert and the resulting miscarriage of her and her husband's first child. While the leader of the Austrian SS has an evil reputation as a monster and a sadist, Dr. Kaltenbrunner has always been oddly gentle and attentive with her. And while he's initially taken aback at the audacity of her request, he agrees to start the process that will result in Heydrich's death.

Ellie Midwood's World War II historical fiction novel, The Girl from Berlin: Gruppenführer's Mistress, is an outstanding and enthralling tale recreating the lives of Annalise and her husband as they work for the American Secret Service in the guise of loyal Germans working in the Reich Main Security Office. The depth of the author's research and her expertise on the subject of Nazi Germany is evidenced on every page of this thrilling and suspenseful tale. I would urge new readers to begin with the first book in the series, Standartenführer's Wife, to get the full impact of this most impressive series. Gruppenführer's Mistress is impeccably researched and beautifully written, making the workaday world and intrigue surrounding Annalise and Heinrich's lives feel real, and the psychological thriller aspect of Annalise and Ernst Kaltenbrunner's growing attraction to each other is masterfully played out. While the title does let prospective readers know that there is definitely romance, some of which is steamy, in this novel, The Girl from Berlin: Gruppenführer's Mistress is historical literary fiction at its finest. It's most highly recommended.

Gretchen Jeannette

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, so much so that I went right after this second installment. Once again I was taken on a remarkable, often chilling journey into the dark underpinnings of Nazi Germany, as seen through the eyes of the story’s beautiful and courageous heroine, Annalise. Together with her husband, Heinrich, a Nazi officer working undercover for American intelligence, Annalise continues her quest to help save as many of her Jewish brethren as possible from certain death. This requires her to operate under the very noses of high-ranking Gestapo, a circumstance that calls for supreme dedication and steel nerves. Annalise’s written voice sparkles with passion and intensity, drawing the reader right into the action, such that each cat-and-mouse encounter bristles with realism. I found Annalise’s dry wit and humorous observations in the face of desperate predicaments refreshing, as this renders her character all the more genuine and likeable.

Determined to avenge the death of her brother, Annalise seeks assistance from Ernst Kaltenbrunner, chief of the Austrian SS, to assassinate the Nazi officer responsible for her loss. At first stunned by Annalise’s request, Kaltenbrunner eventually agrees to do her bidding. But before long Annalise discovers she may have solicited more than she bargained for, as Kaltenbrunner begins to affect her in ways both physical and emotional, testing the bounds of her morality. The author’s portrayal of Kaltenbrunner is especially eerie, in that he can be gentle and compassionate one moment, completely devoid of human feeling the next. Yet this multi-faceted man holds a dark attraction for Annalise, compelling her to open her heart to a force that could ultimately consume her.

The plot is fast-paced, the relationships between the characters excitingly complex, the intrigue so tangible and nerve-racking that my Kindle could barely keep up with my page turning. As for the climactic ending, suffice it to say the suspense is killing me. I can’t wait to begin book three!

I highly recommend this novel for fans of historical fiction, especially those interested in World War II Germany. The author’s knowledge of the time period impresses, as she weaves a treasure trove of historical details into the fabric of a series destined to be dubbed “classic.”