Publish Date: April 17, 2013
Origins: From Author for Review
Order Links: Amazon
Synopsis: In the closing months of WWII, as the war grinds to an end in the rubble of Nazi Germany, all eyes turn to the next ‘cold’ one. The Americans, the Russians, and the British all know that the future belongs to whomever can grab the new rockets, jet fighters, long-range bombers, synthetic fuels and other ‘wonder weapons’ that Hitler unleashed upon them. They will shape the balance of world power for decades to come. It is also the story of the torrid but impossible love affair between Ed Scanlon, a brilliant, young, American OSS agent and Hanni Steiner, the gritty, street-smart leader of the communist resistance cell in Leipzig. They now find themselves on opposite ends of an international tug of war over the plans for Germany’s revolutionary Me-262 jet fighter and the scientists who designed and built it. To succeed, they must not only outwit each other, they must stay one-step ahead of Otto Dietrich, the sadistic Gestapo Chief of Leipzig, who has plans of his own. The stakes could not be higher. Once-bitter enemies are tomorrow’s allies, old friends cannot to be trusted, and lies, double-dealing, and treachery are the norm. Driven by the uncompromising dictates of Josef Stalin, Lavrenti Beria, Allen Dulles, Heinrich Himmler, and Winston Churchill, it is succeed or die, and the winner lose all.
Review: ‘Winner Lose All’ starts near the close of World War 2. The Allies were in a race to extricate military intelligence and German scientists before one of the others could spirit them away. Ed Scanlon came to Leipzig, Germany, an OSS agent working with the British. There he met the leader of the communist resistance, Hanni Steiner, and fell in love even though he knew better than to trust anyone. When Scanlon was taken by the Gestapo in Leipzig and tortured for information, he took longer than most, but he broke right before his friends rescued him. After his torture, he went back to England to heal, but he never gave up on Hanni and going back to rescue her. Scanlon’s sent back to Germany on what amounts to a suicide mission by his British handlers to extract a German scientist who could change the face of modern warfare forever. Yet Hanni had her own mission orders and she will stop at nothing to take the scientist back to Russia. No matter who wins, they still lose…
‘Winner Lose All’ is a story written about a very contentious time in history. I felt the author depicted not only the locales, but the people fighting on both sides so strongly it simply came to life before my eyes. This book combined war, political intrigue, spies, action, and a bittersweet romance. I’m usually not a fan of novels about World War 2, but the way the author handled the subject matter was both honest and respectful. I enjoyed the action and adventure of the story and how it truly lived up to its title – even if you win, you may just lose it all.