Sunday, December 19, 2010

Book Review - "Vienna 1934: Betrayal at the Ballplatz"

A review of my historical novel from the Historical Novel Society - May 2009 Online Review
VIENNA 1934: Betrayal at the Ballplatz
Paul A. Myers, BookSurge, 2008, $16.99, pb, 210pp, 9781439202036
    It is Vienna, 1934. The Austrian government is starting to become a Fascist state as German-supported Nazis decide to overthrow Chancellor Dollfuss’s government. Once Dollfuss’s government is dismantled, then Austria will belong to Hitler. In Myers’ story, Geoffrey Ashbrook is a British journalist who has come to Vienna to write news dispatches for the London papers and to write secret reports for the British cabinet. While in Austria he falls in love with Anna Marie Linden, daughter of an Austrian land owner. The plot thickens as Anna’s stepbrother falls in with the Nazis and both Geoffrey and Anna’s lives are in danger.
    This book will appeal to readers who are interested in Austrian politics in the early 1930s. The story takes place in the early days of World War II—before Mussolini joined Hitler as a member of the Axis. In 1934, the Austrians were counting on Mussolini to keep them safe from Germany. Unfortunately, as Myers relates, there were many people within the higher ranks of police and government officialdom who were pro-Nazi.
    Myers’ characters feel true to the era. He loosely based several characters on real people of the era—such as writers and journalists, socialites and politicians. For example, Ashley’s uncle is based on W. Somerset Maugham. These fabricated characters are woven into the storyline along with real people such as Empress Zita of Austria, Crown Prince Otto von Habsburg, G.E.R. Geyde, Edda Ciano (daughter of Mussolini), and many more. Myers did an excellent job of making the story real due to his good research and fine storytelling. The interweaving of fact, fiction, real, and fictional people makes this book exciting and romantic. -- Naomi Theye

No comments:

Post a Comment