Originally published: 15 July 2021
Author: Brian Klein
Published by: Level Best Books
Genre: Political Thriller
Length: 384 pages
Reading dates: 19-24 October 2022
The author Brian Klein contacted the Shoreham by Sea book club asking if we would be interested in reading his book The Counterfeit Candidate and have him attend our meeting – we do love an author visit so we voted and agreed he should come!
Berlin, 30th April, 1945
As the Russian Army closes in on the war-torn city, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun take their own lives. Their bodies are burned and buried in the Reich Chancellery garden, above the Fuhrer’s bunker.
Buenos Aires, 8th January, 2012
Three audacious thieves carry out the biggest safe depository heist in Argentine history, escaping with more than one hundred million dollars’ worth of valuables. Within hours, an encrypted phone call to America triggers a blood-soaked manhunt as the thieves are tracked down, systematically tortured, then murdered.
San Francisco, 22nd January, 2012
Senator John Franklin, hailed as the “Great Unifier”, secures the Republican Presidential nomination and seems destined for the Oval Office.
Despite the sixty-seven-year interval and a span of thirteen thousand miles, these events are indelibly linked.Chief Inspector Nicolas Vargas of the Buenos Aires Police Department and Lieutenant Troy Hembury of the LAPD are sucked into a dark political conspiracy concealing an incredible historical truth which stretches from the infamous Berlin bunker to Buenos Aires and to Washington and which threatens the very heart and soul of American democracy.
I have to admit this is not at all my type of book! When it arrived my partner asked if I had ordered the wrong book and if I saw it in the book shop, I wouldn’t have even glanced at it. But I did like the blurb so went into it with an open mind and I ended up really enjoying it!
The book is told over two timelines – in 1945 we follow Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun and Martin Bormann as they escape Germany to Argentina to set up a new life. In 2012, three thieves pull off a heist which nets them millions of dollars and other valuables in Buenos Aires. Unbeknownst to them, the contents of one of the safety deposit boxes they steal means a great deal to Richard Franklin, the father of Senator John Franklin. He hires the relentless killer, the Black Scorpion to retrieve his valuables by any means necessary.
Nicolas Vargas of the Buenos Aries Police Department is investigating the robberies but when a string of gruesome murders take place, he soon realises they are connected.
It was really interesting listening to Brian talk about his writing and publishing journey. He is a well known director of factual entertainment programmes and when lockdown happened in 2020 and his work stopped overnight, he decided to try and write a book. The Counterfeit Candidate was the result and with the help of people like Jeremy Clarkson reading and enjoying it, and then telling their Twitter followers about it, it became a well reviewed Amazon bestseller. It is currently being made into a Netflix drama and what started as a single book is now becoming a trilogy. It was great to have him along to book club and I think we all enjoyed listening to him.
I enjoyed The Counterfeit Candidate very much. I found the dual timelines a good way to tell the story and I loved the way the two timelines connected. I liked the idea of Hitler escaping Germany instead of committing suicide – there have been lots of conspiracy theories surrounding this idea so it was good to see one of the potential outcomes explored. With short chapters, which made it easy to read “just one more chapter”, The Counterfeit Candidate was an exciting read. I look forward to the second part which is being published early 2023.
About the author:
Brian Klein is a multi-award winning Television Director, with over twenty-five years’ experience in the industry. He specialises in directing factual entertainment, both in the UK and the US. His work regularly appears on Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC and Sky. Amongst his credits, he directed 25 seasons of the entertainment car show, “TOP GEAR”, which became the highest watched factual entertainment show in the world with 350 million weekly viewers in 110 countries and in 2005 won an EMMY for best International non-scripted programme.
He has also directed two feature-length films and five entertainment specials for Netflix. THE COUNTERFEIT CANDIDATE is his debut novel.