Good & Evil is the much anticipated second book in the Black Sun Series. A hugely enthralling historical thriller that pitches the forces of the Allies against the Axis Powers in the Second World War, in a race to find four powerful supernatural swastika relics. The victor will achieve the decisive military, political, social and economic power to win the war and dominate the world in its aftermath.
“Their power is limitless. They impose their will on entire peoples. Nazism and Fascism are both avatars of pagan religions. They’re the gods of a new era.”
Commander James Malorley, heads up the Special Operations Executive (SOE), in London and following on from the first book (The Four Symbols), the Allies have already retrieved two relics and sent one to the US. The Nazis under Himmler’s secret research institute, the Ahnenerbe, have the ancient manuscript Thule Borealis Kulten and are searching for relics that remain hidden.
Heavily involved with the Allies are Winston Churchill, King George VI and Ian Fleming – yes, it’s him and as espionage capability develops, British Intelligence adopts the 007 code. Malorley’s team is joined by Aleister Crowley, a leading occultist with dubious history and bad taste, but with attributes that can help the Allies. He does, however, have connections with several characters may be undercover German spies and this leads to suspense and uncertainty of who can be trusted.
One spy we know from the first book is Tristan Marcas, who works with the acting head of the Ahnenerbe, Erika Von Essling. While they have developed an intimate relationship, Erika has no reason to doubt Tristan’s loyalty and they both appear to be pursuing an agenda that promotes Himmler’s standing with Hitler and bringing power to the Axis. Deciphering the codes and text from the Thule Borealis Kulten is like the Da Vinci Code proposition. The details of the plot and puzzle are meticulously drawn, and it weaves seamlessly through all the historical facts that are well documented. The mystery of the relics and the power they bestow is unclear. Should we ask the question, is the power they grant a force for good or evil?
The structure of the book is excellent as it switches back and forward between the two sides with a pace that delivers the momentum and energy that underpins a desperate race to find these relics, first. In addition, there is another fascinating thread delivered through the novel that goes back in time to tell Adolf Hitler’s story, from his first world war experiences with several influential people he met, the philosophy of Nazism and how a seemingly insignificant man managed to elevate himself to captivate and influence the people he spoke to.
“It’s more than a cult of personality, it’s worship. Worship that pushes people to sacrifice their lives for their god.”
A scary sentiment that is far too close to the bone in today’s world, especially when you look at their caricature appearance and think “Really”.
Good & Evil is action-packed, with supernatural forces at play, full of suspense with clinging anxiety around spies, double agents, risk of discovery and menace lurking everywhere. A gripping page-turner. I enjoyed this one immeasurably and it is perfect for fans of the Da Vinci Code and Indiana Jones. The fourth relic is up for grabs in the third book and I’m watching carefully for its release.
I highly recommend this series and I would like to thank Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC in return for an honest review.