21 July 2014

Hitler's Secret by William Osborne, Book review

  • Age Range: 12 and up 
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House (September 24, 2013)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545496469
  • Available also in KINDLE format
  • Published in the U.K. under the title 'Hitler's Angel'


Otto and Leni thought they were safe: They escaped -- barely -- from war-torn Europe and are living as refugees in England. But now the Crown has recruited them: Great Britain wants them to go back. As spies!

Dropped behind enemy lines, Otto and Leni embark on a top-secret operation. Code name: Wolfsangel. Their mission? Capture the one person who can defeat the ultimate evil of Nazism! Der Fuhrer has destroyed Otto's and Leni's families, but what if the tables were turned? What if Hitler's ultimate legacy was in their hands?

Breathless pacing, nonstop action: By the screenwriter of Goldeneye, HITLER'S SECRET is a cinematic tale of revenge with an unexpected twist. 
A note by the author explains the truth behind the fiction and lets readers know what really became of history's greatest villains.

My thoughts:

Albeit a debut novel for author William Osborne, HITLER"S SECRET reflects his extensive screenwriter skills as proven in films such as The Mummy and Goldeneye. Action packed, this Young Adult novel is certain to be appreciated by youngsters. 

Featuring key figures of WW 2 it is non the less a work of fiction as the author explains in his historical notes.

The story centers on two young people recruited by British Intelligence to undertake special operative training for the purpose of retrieving a very special package at the heart of Nazi Germany. 
Otto, a German refugee and Leni an Austrian Jew pledge to execute the daring operation behind enemy lines despite the many dangers they are certain to face.
Following orders both young operatives pursue steadfastly their goal only to realize right and wrong are not always as it seems in times of war.

All in all the novel offers a great plot line depicted against authentic wartime locales with engaging protagonists. However far fetched such endeavours might seems to some, let it be remembered the many young people who courageously undertook countless missions in hope to overthrow the occupiers. The cost was very great for many and their sacrifice should not be discounted because of their youth.

William Osborne does an excellent job in bringing in his debut novel all the items which are bound to grasp young people's interest. In a time of war you had to grow up very fast if you wished to survive. 

The only skeptic moment for me occur almost at the end when the parcel's identity is questioned. I found the alternative to be perplexing but perhaps Osborne hinted at another novel's theme?

To be noted: A certain amount of violence was necessary to represent the exact nature of the times.

HITLER"S SECRET was longlisted for the prestigious Carnegie Medal in the United Kingdom.

Well worth checking out and earning 4 stars.

Meet the Author:

After graduating from Cambridge University, WILLIAM OSBORNE became a lawyer, but his career took a sharp turn when he switched to screenwriting in Hollywood. He has worked on more than sixty movies, including THE MUMMY and GOLDENEYE.

(Interview courtesy of CHICKEN HOUSE)

Look for his next novel: Winter's Bullet

Winter's Bullet (eBook)

Note: This was a library loan and all opinions are mine only!


  1. That does sound like it's worth reading. I don't read a lot of historical fiction but enjoy it when it deals with WWII.

    1. Glad you caught it and hope you will give it a try!
      Thanks for stopping by,

  2. Even though parts of it are far-fetched, I was able to go with the flow and just enjoy the excitement of it all. I really like how Osborne stresses the bravery of these children. I was surprised how thought-provoking it turned out to be.


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