Brian Falkner is one of the pre-eminent writers for children and young adults in Australasia and has won multiple awards for his work.
Katipo Joe: Wolf’s Lair is the harrowing and thrilling story of Joseph St George (codename: Katipo) in Germany during World War II.
On the eve of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Adolf Hitler is preparing to move from Bavaria to the ‘Wolf’s Lair’, his top secret headquarters in East Prussia. Little does he know that among his entourage is a British spy, teenager Joseph ‘Katipo’ St George, playing the part of a keen Hitler Youth who has been chosen as Hitler’s successor.
Already under suspicion by German counterintelligence, Joe has been given a risky new task by his handlers at MI5: the assassination of Hitler before he can lead Germany to victory over Russia.
The attack is to take place on the Führersonderzug, Hitler’s Special Train, en route to the Wolf’s Lair. But a perilous night-time crawl on the outside and roof of the train, in an attempt to poison Hitler’s water supply, ends in failure, as does an air raid the following day.
With Hitler safely ensconced at his new headquarters, the invasion begins, and Joe sits horrified in the daily briefings as German troops blitz their way into Russia. Aided by Sofie, a German girl disillusioned with the Nazi regime, he embarks on an even more audacious assassination plot, a plan that is complicated when he discovers that his father – arrested three years earlier on Kristallnacht – is among the prisoners working as forced labourers at the complex.
With German counterintelligence closing in, Joe and Sofie must now try to help Joe’s father escape, while continuing their plans for a powerful bomb right in the heart of the Wolf’s Lair.