The Blood Flag
By: James W. Huston
Read by: Peter Ganim
Runtime: 11.3 Hours
Release date: 11.10.2015
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
I would recommend that you have had some exposure to the early 20th century history to be able to get the most out of this book. I have read William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich which helped me understand a lot of the “whats” and “whys” in the book. The book revolves around the search for the most holy relic to the Nazi culture, the Blood Flag (Blutfahne) which holds the blood from the first Nazi “Martyrs” who died during the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. Hitler treated it like a holy relic. It disappeared shortly before the war ended.
Kyle Morrissey specializes in international terrorism for the FBI. He experiences a moment of unreality when days after attending the D-Day Ceremony at Normandy, he and his family are caught in a Nazi march in Germany. He questions how the evil the greatest generation fought and beat can still be in existence. As he researches modern Nazi-ism, he becomes obsessed, leading him to cooperate with the FBI agent in charge of tracking Neo-Nazis. Before too long Kyle finds himself looking for the Blood Flag as a way to gain admission to the top Neo-Nazi group in the world.
I enjoyed the history in the story. I thought the characters, especially Kyle and Jedidiah were interesting but never fully fleshed out. During the incident that starts Kyle’s obsession, he is accompanied by his wife and children. They promptly vanish except for one or two mentions for the rest of the book. He drops his own work in International Terrorism to pursue his Nazi obsession and the FBI does not reign him in. Jedidiah’s backstory is never truly explored. He was a virulent Neo-Nazi and now he is a confidential informant for the FBI. I never really got a good handle on his conversion. The German officers in the equivalent of the FBI remained a question on whether they sympathized with the Neo-Nazis or not.
To be clear, I enjoyed the book. I listened at every opportunity I had for the last few days. It certainly held my attention. But it ended somewhat abruptly and I was left with a lot of unanswered questions (see paragraph above).
Peter Ganim did a nice job as a narrator. He handled all the accents, American (both Southern and more non descript) German, and Russian well. Mr. Ganim did a nice job with the few females when they made appearances. His pacing with consistent with the action. The production values were excellent. I would definitely listen to another book narrated by Peter Ganim and will read another by James W. Huston. I just wish he had made The Blood Flag a little longer so my questions were answered.
Story (Plot) 4
Production Quality 5
Attention Holding 5
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Jukebox dot com.