By Rebecca Cantrell
Hannah Vogel does manage to infiltrate the cult of all cults: the Nazi party. Let’s run through the cult checklist: overbearing leader, fanatical devotion, mind control, serious consequences if you leave, questions or doubts strongly discouraged. Yes, on all counts.
So, how did she do it? It helped that she looked like their ideal. She has the protective camouflage of blond hair and blue eyes. And, as a woman, she’s not taken seriously enough. Luckily.
The second step was picking a strong ally within the group. She partnered with Lars Lang, a high ranking SS officer. He was already accepted by the group, so she got a de facto acceptance too. This got her past the initial hurdles, but not without a cost. Lars is not always the easiest guy to work with: his loyalties are complex, he runs the risk of being found out himself, and the stress of living a double life cause him to act unpredictably, sometimes dangerously.
After that it was a matter of having strong nerves in difficult situations, learning to lie, and developing the ability to parrot back Nazi ideology with a straight face.
All those things served her well in “A Trace of Smoke,” “A Night of Long Knives,” and “A Game of Lies.” But in next year’s book, “A City of Broken Glass,” all those factors work against her.
Being Hannah is tough work.