A troubled hero trapped in a triangle of competing interests
In his new thriller, Felix Weber introduces us to another troubled hero. The Second World War has left SS veteran Eden Lumas with blood on his hands, and now there’s a battle raging inside of him. He tries to make things right, to do good, but he cannot escape the stains of his past.
After volunteering for the German army, Lumas was sent to the Russian front, where he was involved in a mass execution. While the massacre was underway, he discovered a woman and child hiding under the floor of a barn. He gives them food and water but gets caught. As a result, he is subjected to severe torture, which, in addition to the memories of the brutal executions, traumatizes him for the rest of his life.
After the German defeat, Lumas has one goal in mind: to take revenge on Julius and Erna Liedtke, the couple responsible for his torture and the sadistic slaughter of countless Jews.
Lumas’s dark history forces him to leave Europe. He manages to escape via Switzerland to Argentina, where he is by no means the only person running from the past. Have the Liedtkes fled to Argentina as well? In the German enclaves in and around Buenos Aires, the Third Reich’s ideals live on. Lumas finds work at a company that delivers post and food to Nazis in hiding. He also picks up a job on the side taking care of the disabled Sophie Denrée. He ends up falling for the idealistic young woman but knows that he has to keep his sinister past a secret or risk losing her forever. In Argentina, however, the war isn’t over. A Jewish group is hunting down war criminals and blackmails Lumas to learn more about the German network. Lumas finds himself trapped in a triangle of competing interests, and the story eventually culminates into a bloodcurling denouement.
Supporting characters, such as the war criminals Bormann and Eichmann, and interwoven historical facts, like Juan Peron’s ambivalent attitude towards the Jews and Nazis, bring depth to Weber’s smoothly written thriller. The Fatal Blow can certainly stand up next to the work of Philip Kerr or John Le Carré.