Elisa Lindheim Murphy is safe in London, and happily expecting her first child. It's not an unmixed happiness, though, because many people she knows and loves remain behind the borders of Hilter's Reich. Kristallnacht, the Night of Breaking Glass, brings her sorrow; but it brings stark terror at best, and death at worst, to Jews within the Reich. And to those who protect Jews, also, including Elisa's Gentile aunt and her family: Helen and Pastor Karl Ibsen and their children, Lori and Jamie.
Once again we meet Otto Wattenbarger, the Nazi son of a Tyrolian farm family whose other members we've seen taking enormous risks in the earlier books of this series. Otto, we now know, isn't what he so carefully appears to be. He's who his parents raised him to be, after all. But will taking in Karin Wallich and her three children, the family of a Jew who has died in Nazi custody, and attempting to give them new and Aryan identities, be Otto's undoing at last? And what about Lucy Strasburg, the peasant girl from Munich who's now living with an S.S. officer in Vienna, as she begins to see her beloved for what he really is, and as his child grows in her womb? What about Alfie Halder, the "dummkopf" who escapes from a Nazi-run "hospital" just in time to avoid euthanasia?
The cast of characters in this fifth installment of the Zion Covenant series has grown, but each of its members - established and newly introduced, alike - lives and breathes and seems fully real. The authors do a good job of keeping the plot threads sorted out for the reader, and their historical accuracy continues to be spot on. Preaching in this one is minimal, and that's fortunate because it is not needed. Once again, a rewarding read for anyone with a taste for character-driven World War II fiction.