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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Book Review from L.M.B.

**** 4 stars


The Dahlem Initiative is a lively spy thriller set in the last few weeks 
of WWII. The novel revolves around the attempts of the Allies to obtain 
advanced nuclear technology from a facility in Berlin. The reader learns 
a great deal about the science of the powerful ultracentrifuge being 
developed by the Nazis.  The novel is peppered with small-scale battle 
scenes as both the Allies and the Soviets try to take possession of the 
centrifuge and the uranium, while the Germans try to thwart them. The 
betrayals, firefights, and deaths that attend these efforts are dramatic 
and chilling. The premise of the book is original and engaging.

Egerton's fictional characters interact with real historical figures, 
most of whom were involved with the Manhattan Project. Truman, Beria, 
and Stalin make cameo appearances as well.  For the reader with an 
historical bent, this is especially interesting and brings added 
verisimilitude to the story.

There is some repetitiveness in the narrative, but nonetheless the book 
moves along at good clip. Egerton's decision to ignore the larger war 
and focus on the events  in and around the Dahlem facility intensifies 
the drama. The reader is always left wondering what will happen next.

L.M.B

Miami, Florida

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