Monday 21 February 2022

Review - The Commandant's Daughter by Catherine Hokin

The Commandant's Daughter by Catherine Hokin
Publisher: Bookouture
Release date: 26 January 2022
Back cover blurb: 1933, Berlin. Ten-year-old Hanni Foss stands by her father watching the celebrations marking Adolf Hitler as Germany’s new leader. As the torchlights fade, her safe and happy childhood changes forever as Reiner, the father she adores, is corrupted by his new position as commandant of an infamous concentration camp… Twelve years later. As the Nazi regime crumbles, Hanni hides from her father on the outskirts of Berlin. In stolen moments, she develops the photographs she took to record the horrors of the camp – the empty food bowls and desperate faces – and vows to get justice for the innocent people she couldn’t help as a child. But her carefully constructed new life is threatened when Hanni discovers a body hidden in a bombed-out building, and meets Freddy, the tortured young detective in charge of the case. Could the fierce emotion in his brown eyes distract Hanni from her quest for atonement? Or will Reiner stop her himself? Because on the day she plans to deliver her damning photographs to the Allies, Hanni comes face to face with her father again. Reiner Foss has a powerful new identity and he makes it clear just how dangerous it will be to expose him. Now she faces a devastating choice, between the past which haunts her, and the chance of a future with Freddy…

Hannelore Foss is just ten year’s old as she stands on a balcony overlooking the pomp and ceremony as Adolf Hitler is celebrated as Germany’s new leader. Swept up by the ceremony, she struggles to understand the view of her fellow German sharing the balcony. 

But she knows it is dangerous, and that her Father is a part of whatever he is fearful of.

Hanni Winter is photographing what remains of the outskirts of Berlin when she comes across a crime scene, that leads her to a chance encounter with a young detective. Freddy is enthralled with Hanni from the moment he sets eyes on her, and understands that with her photographer's eye that she could be useful to his investigations.

The pair begin what is at first a working relationship, and as Hanni begins to get to know Freddy, and his family background and history, she understands that she can never tell him her secret. That in the aftermath of the war, she is determined to make a new life for herself, and to distance herself from her remaining family member, maybe even bring him to justice.

Reiner Foss, commandant of Theresienstadt has a new identity. Arrogant enough to believe that he will not be caught, he is back in Berlin as his former colleagues face trial at Nuremberg. Hanni understands that her life may be in danger if their paths cross, but she is determined to make her Father accountable for what he did in the war.

The ending of this novel seemed to leave a bit of a cliffhanger, but also seemed to suggest that there may be more to come … in which case, I can’t wait to read what happens next!

The Commandant's Daughter is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publisher who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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