A saga of love, litigation and murder in Melbourne at the time of Federation. In Melbourne in 1899, politician John Deveraux falls in love with Susan Fairfax, businesswoman and suffragette. Thwarted when he discovers her secret, he seeks revenge.
Then his own past begins to catch up with him. A professional assassin arrives from California and the plot thickens with love affairs, unsolved crimes, the fight for women's rights, parliamentary feuds, and a trial. This novel proceeds through the drawing rooms, business world and courts of late nineteenth century Melbourne.
Franz Schmidt arrives in Berlin in January 1939 to take up the position of Chief Auditor at the Reichsbank, the financial heart of the Third Reich. He has been positioned there by the enigmatic von Streck, a high-ranking member of the Nazi party but one who has a different agenda to that of the Fuehrer. Schmidt realises he must tread very carefully to avoid the zealous and passionate Fraulein Brandt, who is determined to destroy anyone unfaithful to the Party.
This is the story of the crisis of conscience experienced by the chief auditor in a German banking house when it accepts the Nazi party as a client. He tries to save a Jewish secretary, fails, and then devises a scam to ruin the Nazi official who sent her to her death. His own marriage, and his moral universe, are torn apart in the process.
Marshall Browne, born in Melbourne, is a sixth generation Australian. His forebear, a Calcutta merchant of Irish-Persian parentage, arrived in Sydney in 1809, and bought a grazing property near Cabramatta.With other land granted by Governor Macquarie, he settled down to New South Wales life as both merchant and grazier. He was one of the founders of Australia's first bank - The Bank of New South Wales.
This is the second book featuring Franz Schmidt, set in Nazi Germany. The Eye of the Abyss is the first, which received considerable acclaim t the time it was published.
From the Blurb:
Franz Schmidt arrives in Berlin in January 1939 to take up the position of Chief Auditor at the Reichsbank, the financial heart of the Third Reich. He has been positioned there by the enigmatic von Streck, a high-ranking member of the Nazi Party, but one who has a different agenda to that of the Fuehrer.
I'm a tad behind with review books at the moment (well really I'm always a tad behind where I'd like to be), but this book needs an immediate mention.
The Iron Heart is the second Franz Schmidt novel from Marshall Browne and it's one I've been really looking forward to.