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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

Hitler's Inner Circle

Dancing with Eva - Alan Judd

Edith Mecklenburg was Eva Braun's (fictional) personal assistant. As such, she was with her mistress and Hitler in the bunker during the last days of the war. Unlike Eva, Edith did not choose to commit suicide when the allied troops closed in. Instead she was captured by allied troops and ended up marrying her interrogator.

Now elderly, living in a big house in the English countryside she has become almost more English than the English and would rather not remember her time as part of Hitler's entourage, But a visit from Hans, a soldier who was also in the bunker in those last grim days, upsets the delicate equilibrium of her old age. Why does Hans want to see her? What is to be gained from reopening that closed chapter?

Dancing With Eva is not a big book. The entire plot revolves around the evening of Hans' visit, interspersed with flashbacks to their shared past. But it's compelling nonetheless - I practically read it at one sitting - and the revelation that comes at the end followed by a neat little twist is very satisfying.