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Review: Flight From Berlin

Flight From Berlin by David John ranks among the best suspense and thriller novels I have read this summer. Eleanor Emerson, the daughter of a U.S. Senator, a wild socialite, and a U.S. Olympic swimmer thrown off the team for her conduct enroute to Germany is caught in a whirlwind romance and game of espionage with Richard Denahm, a cynical British reporter covering the Olympic games and Germany’s darkening climate in Berlin before the start of World War II. The story takes place against the backdrop of the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany, narrating the stunning wins of Jessie Owens, and revealing the shadow of Hitler over Europe at that time.

Admittedly, I wasn’t excited about this book at first. It moved slow, and I didn’t initially like Eleanor. She was a rebellious socialite who seems drawn to scandals, but once in Germany and genuinely facing the darkness of what others in Germany are facing, she becomes more than a caricature.

John seems to have done a great deal of research for the novel. He included a number of interesting historical details, such as information about the Hindenburg, and cameos some important historical figures. He maintains an excellent grasp of history, while still moving forward the plot with its incredible twists and turns.

I give Flight From Berlin, David John’s debut novel, four stars. An interesting read and a wild ride through history.


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