As the Nazis come to power in Germany, a violent argument over a secret key causes young Johann to lose the only parent he has left. Worse, it is his half-brother, Dieter, who commits this horrific act of betrayal. Though their fragile family bonds are irrevocably destroyed, the brothers’ paths are destined to cross again. Years later, in 1945, Hitler’s army is on the verge of defeat as Soviet forces enter Germany. Hiding in plain sight, Johann works to save German lives, secretly despising the Führer to whom Dieter has sworn his allegiance. Yet now it is Dieter who holds a terrible secret that threatens not just Johann and his family, but an entire city unsuspecting of the enemy within. As Germany falls before the Allies’ merciless advance, Johann and Dieter are locked in their own furious battle while the fate of the entire city of Berlin rests in their hands.
Interesting story of two brothers - the older Dieter a cruel Gestapo officer who turns his intellectual stepfather, the younger Johann who changes his name, marries, and becomes a doctor serving on the eastern front. One night Dieter, horribly burned and unconscious, is brought into the field hospital as Johann operates on him, he realizes he must get back to Berlin and get his wife to the west.
The story tells what Berlin is like at the end of the war in Europe. Food and fuel shortages. Bombed-out buildings. Orphans. Neighbors turning in neighbors for food.
It's a good story. Unfortunately, it was hard to tell how well written the book was. The narrator was over the top melodramatic when reading narrative. The speaking voices for the men all sounded the same, unpleasant. The women also sounded the small, weak and whiny.
I think I would have enjoyed the print book more than I did the audio.