Colin Fulton definitely knows his history and it is clear he has done a good amount of research for this book. He takes a series of real events, all of which he lays out in an appendix at the end of the book, and places his story around the edges of history that remain a mystery in real life. He takes this one step further by not only using well-known figures from history as a supporting cast but also lesser known but equal real members of the German government. Of all the historical fiction I have read Fulton has gone the furthest in grounding his story in real history, and the book is all the better for it.
One of the things I struggled with early on in this book was the characters. Not that they were poorly written. Nearly all of the major and supporting fictitious characters in the book feel very fleshed out and believable. The issue is that most of the protagonists in the book are people who by their very nature it is hard to like. One of the main characters in the book is an SS officer who keeps track of and account for all of the money stolen off the murdered prisoners in the concentration camp. It is difficult as a reader to sympathize and feel a connection to a character like that. To be fair as the book progressed Fulton managed to make the characters work out in a believable and satisfactory way without changing their evil nature. It is a tough line to walk and by the time I finished reading it I could only applaud Fulton’s success.
My only real complaint is how some of the language was used in the book. The author clearly has a fondness for the German language, and it was a detriment. As a book written in English nearly everything the characters say is in English for the reader, yet very often the author also has them say things in un-translated German. I found this fairly distracting because the jumping between languages would mean that most of the time the Germans are all speaking English to one another. While this is obviously not the case it makes those moments when the dialogue is in German feel even more out of place. German names and identifications I can accept but there is no reason for a character whose dialog has been presented in English for a chapter then say "come here" in German. Nearly every time this happened it pulled me out of the story.
That one complaint aside this is a really solid read and I enjoyed nearly every moment of it. If you are a fan of historical fiction or thrillers do yourself a favor and pick up The Reichsbank Robbery.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.