With this explosive sequel to The Counterfeit Candidate, bestselling author and award-winning TV director Brian Klein catapults himself into the stratosphere of must-read thriller writers. The Führer’s Prophecy is yet another literary blockbuster that will have you glued to your seat.
When BAFTA Award-winning Top Gear director Brian Klein, who has steered the show for a record 28 series to-date, hit upon the idea of penning a ‘What If?’ novel involving history’s most evil man – Adolf Hitler – he struck pure gold.
For as his sensational debut novel, last year’s alternate history political thriller The Counterfeit Candidate, proved that he could apply his knack of making much-watch television equally well to the written word.
And readers readily agreed with the critics, with that novel – based on the high-concept premise of the Nazi leader secretly surviving World War Two to found a dynasty that would in the coming decades fulfil his vile ambitions – zooming to pole position faster than a sports car on the track.
It topped the Amazon bestseller charts and has so far racked up more than 60,000 sales, leaving works by lionised thriller kings John le Carré and Robert Harris spluttering in the dust.
Among its many fans are celebrities including Jeremy Clarkson, who said matter-of-factly “I’ve read it and it’s brilliant”, and crime fiction legend Peter James, who praised it as, “The best ‘What If?’ thriller I’ve read since Day of the Jackal”.
Now, by popular demand, Klein has written a sequel, The Führer’s Prophecy, which forms the second part of the newly labelled ‘Reich Trilogy’, and which is just as, if not more, entertaining than the original entry.
The novel is set a decade on from the events of The Counterfeit Candidate, which saw Hitler’s grandson, John Franklin, exposed as a modern-day Nazi mastermind just before he reached his goal: the White House.
Dogged police officers Nicholas Vargas of the Buenos Aires Police Department and Troy Hembury, a lieutenant of the LA Police Department, had joined forces to stop Franklin and had, seemingly, closed the case with the apparent death of the disgraced Republican presidential candidate.
It’s no spoiler to reveal that rumours of Franklin’s death have been greatly exaggerated and, in fact, he has been in hiding ever since his fall, biding his time until the moment to strike again arose.
The emergence of a global Covid pandemic presents that perfect opportunity, with the heir to the family’s pharmaceutical empire stepping confidently back out of the shadows just as everyone else is told to remain indoors.
Thanks to a team of unscrupulous boffins at his disposal, he has created a super drug that when ingested by women renders them infertile.
This he now plans to release into Israel’s water supply so that the Jewish race will, in effect, be wiped out over the course of a few generations.
To achieve this gruesome goal, he will need a team of morally devoid henchmen to provide the muscle to his madness.
The first section of The Führer’s Prophecy is concerned with Franklin gathering this band of mercenaries, with notorious killer Black Scorpion – aka, international terrorist Matias Paz – being a key player.
Like his master, Paz has been dormant for the last decade, finding himself incarcerated in one of South America’s most brutal prisons.
But in a spectacular scene, we see him busted out in a daring helicopter raid and taken directly to Franklin’s superyacht so the plan can be hatched.
The addictive, punchy plot then moves to the Middle East and Iran, where we meet more ruthless murderous from The Taliban, who are only too willing to join the cause against their bitter Israeli enemy.
Alerted to the sickening scheme, Vargas and Hembury are once again reunited, directing the counter-intelligence initiative.
For Vargas, stopping Franklin is as much personal as professional. He is still reeling from the loss of his Jewish wife 13 years before, whose grandfather had been one of the hundreds of thousands of Jews forced to flee Nazi Germany.
He also has history with the Black Scorpion, who gets his nickname from his torture implement of choice, given that he was responsible for his imprisonment, barely living to tell the tale.
Hembury, meanwhile, is past his prime but ready for one last mission alongside his buddy to finish what they started with Franklin.
They are, though, always one step behind and it will all come down to the wire in a breath-taking showdown pitting Franklin’s forces against the Israeli national intelligence agency, Mossad.
Thrillers then don’t come more thrilling than The Führer’s Prophecy, which fuses together this high-octane narrative of poisoned politics, bioterrorism and genocide into an unforgettable adrenaline ride.
Potent themes of loyalty, revenge, friendship, and healing – particularly with regards to lead cop Nicolas Vargas – are played out on a world stage.
As with The Counterfeit Candidate, Klein cleverly incorporates two different yet connected timelines into the narrative, one in 2022 and the second back in the darkest days of the Second World War.
These sections uncover the foundations of the main story, where we learn of Hitler’s speech at the Reichstag in January 1939 announcing his ambition to wipe out the Jewish people, which came to be known as ‘The Führer’s Prophecy’.
And in an example of Klein’s clever blending of fact and fiction we see – in tragic detail – the origins of Franklin’s super drug, with Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, the ‘Angel of Death’, conducting cruel experiments on female inmates of dreaded concentration camp Auschwitz.
The fact that this actually happened makes it all the more distressing and adds extra force to the diabolic nature of Hitler’s fictional descendant.
His right-hand man, Black Scorpion, is equally wicked and, in many ways, he is the driving force in the story, zipping from superyachts to desert camps as he puts Franklin’s blueprint into action.
They are the definitive due you will love to hate, and you’ll be rooting for their comeuppance while cheering on Vargas and Hembury every step of the way.
With a TV adaption of The Counterfeit Candidate now in motion, this is the ideal time to jump into The Reich Trilogy, with the full throttle ending of The Führer’s Prophecy leaving you immensely satisfied yet deliciously hungry for the grand finale.
And before you get there, prepare for action-packed, gun-toting mayhem and more twists and turns than a snake doing Zumba.
The Führer’s Prophecy by Brian Klein (Spirit Entertainment) is out now on Amazon, priced £8.99 in paperback and audiobook formats, and £2.99 as an eBook. For more information, visit www.brianklein.tv or follow Brian Klein on Instagram (@klein443).
Q&A INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN KLEIN
Bestselling author Brian Klein gives his views on what makes for a great thriller, what he hopes people will get most out of The Führer’s Prophecy, and how former Top Gear colleague Jeremy Clarkson is delighted with his literary success, among other things.
Q. Your first novel, The Counterfeit Candidate, has been hailed as a modern classic, generating thousands of positive reviews. What do you think has made the novel so staggeringly popular?
A. Maybe it’s because people love a good ‘What If? conspiracy theory and Hitler is such a huge, reviled character in history, readers are fascinated by him.
Q. You never originally planned to become an author, deciding to write the first novel when lockdown presented rare free time. Has the reaction to your writing, therefore, surprised you?
A. I’ve been massively surprised by the response to my first novel which thousands of people appear to have enjoyed. I never imagined such a positive reaction.
Q. What do you hope readers take away from your new novel, The Führer’s Prophecy.
A. I just want them to be kept on the edge of their seats as they read the novel, and to enjoy it as a work of fiction.
Q. You are a big fan of thrillers. How do you think reading widely in this genre has benefitted your own writing?
A. In a nutshell, I don’t think you can be a writer unless you are a prolific reader.
Q. What are your favourite thrillers, and what do you like so much about them?
A. My favourite thrillers have great stories and plot twists but are always believable as well as having strong characters.
Q. Conversely, what kills a good thriller in your view?
A. Bad writing, slow pacing, and unbelievable storylines.
Q. You have worked with many celebrities as an award-winning TV director, such as Jeremy Clarkson. How have they reacted to your new-found fame as an author?
A. They have all been incredibly supportive and pleased for me, and Clarkson actually came to my book launch and wrote about it on his Twitter page.
Q. What is the key to writing a classic page-turner?
A. Keep the chapters short and snappy and always end on a paragraph that forces the reader to turn the page and begin the next chapter!
Q. There is a TV adaptation of your first novel, The Counterfeit Candidate, currently in the works. How does this make you feel, and would you recommend people read your novel before watching the show, or vice versa?
A. Tricky to answer as it has not yet been made. Although I am tremendously excited about it, I still think people should read the book first!
Q. When you have completed The Reich Trilogy, will you continue to write exclusively in the thriller genre, or are you tempted to try another genre?
A. No, I will only write in the thriller genre, as that’s where I feel most at home.