“Uncle Dolf.” It’s a creepy way to refer to Adolf Hitler and portrays him in an unfamiliar light. Anne Blankman weaves a captivating tale about what it is like to be Hitler’s niece in Prisoner of Night and Fog. Gretchen Muller and her violent brother, Reinhard, are two of Uncle Dolf’s favorites; after their father’s questionable death saving Hitler’s life, Hitler watches over them and shapes them to be a part of his National Socialist Party. Reinhard is happy to be the tool Hitler asks of him, but Gretchen begins to question the party’s beliefs and the “truths” she has been told.
Gretchen’s search for answers leads her to befriend a reporter named Daniel Cohen. Daniel is brave, relentless, and handsome. He is also a Jew. Gretchen knows it is dangerous to be seen with Daniel, but her search for truth and growing desire for Daniel leads her into increasingly perilous situations.
Blankman’s YA novel offers readers mystery, romance, intrigue, and the constant threat of danger. She does a nice job creating a compelling story with interesting characters in a well-known, historical setting. This book would be great for teachers to use as a captivating personal narrative alongside a study of the Nazi’s rise to power. The book offers a satisfying conclusion while maintaining enough danger and tension that readers will be quick to pick up the sequel, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke.