Publication Date: October 31, 2012
In Flying Loyalties by Helmuth Palmer, Hansi lives a happy life in Scotland indulging in a passion for planes when World War II breaks out. His Austrian background and bi-lingual abilities make him the perfect spy. Hansi uncovers a horrifying plan by Hitler to develop the atomic bomb. Can he prevent the impending disaster?
I received a copy of Flying Loyalties from Author Solutions acting as PR agent for the author.
Flying Loyalties is a fascinating read. It rewrites history in the most terrifying way. What if Hitler had lived longer? Would he have been able to take advantage of the new weaponry? The question posed by Palmer is a compelling one, and the presentation of that idea is chilling. Palmer seamlessly mixes his altered history with real events in a way that rivals the best histories of the period. Hansi’s associations, interests and struggle feel very real and appropriate for the time.
Flying Loyalties starts slow. At 613 pages, the novel is hefty but of an appropriate length given the subject matter. Palmer doesn’t make things easy for Hansi, nor should he for a believable work. Palmer presents obstacles for Hansi and the reader. Can Hansi succeed in saving his family and likely much of Austria? If Hitler lived another six months would have anyone been able to stop him?
Palmer develops his characters extensively. Some we know from history, but many are uniquely crafted and appropriate for a time when the world is on the brink of destruction. At its core, Flying Loyalties is a plot-based work. Taking the reader somewhere with which they can identify and will become obsessed with the plausibility of the device. At a deeper level, the novel is character driven. We become involved with the people, and the way they work toward eventual goals.
Palmer writes like a person with a deep knowledge and respect for history. He doesn’t dive into the altered timeline with careless disrespect. The tale is one of a dangerous time in which this world narrowly escaped a bigger danger. As someone who loves history, I simply could not stop reading. The “what ifs” are simply too delicious and bone-chilling at once.
Technically, Flying Loyalties is beautifully written. I dislike equating the written word with television, but the feel of the novel is as much a complete human experience as viewers see on Downton Abbey or Mr. Selfridge (though a vastly different subject matter). If you like period pieces, military fiction or historically based fiction, you will love Flying Loyalties.
If you enjoy historical novels with an altered twist, read an excerpt and buy Flying Loyalties by Helmuth Palmer on