The following days included other tours, and during these quiet days of waiting, Danforth gave Anna a crash course on the sort of art Hitler appeared to favor and imitate, a style heavy on traditional representation that ignored entirely any modernist influence.
On the appointed morning, they met in the hotel lobby for the trip to Wannsee, and when Danforth saw her emerge from the elevator he nearly swooned at the transformation. She looked every bit the worldly assistant to a major American art dealer. The clothes were the same she’d worn in Paris, but she’d lifted her collar, padded the shoulders of her jacket, and added a discreet white ruffle to each sleeve. It was the art of an actress and the art of a seamstress, Danforth thought, both now applied to the art of murder. “You look very” — he stopped and waited until he found the right word — “appropriate.”
In Wannsee, a black sedan was waiting for them, complete with a driver who was clearly not a driver at all but a security agent.
All that said, it’s a good entertaining read as spy thrillers go, although there never seems to be a trace of humour or amusement in any books by Thomas H Cook. Danforth and Anna have started on one mission, then suddenly changed to another (I didn’t really understand that aspect) and are going to try to kill Hitler. Well, we know that’s not going to happen: it’s a chancy highwire for an author to try to still make it interesting, and to some extent Cook does succeed. But it’s not a book to pin you in your chair with interest and tension.
Links on the blog: Anna is going to try to sit next to Hitler in a restaurant – as Unity Mitford did in real life, though for different reasons – and in The President’s Hat a lowly office worker sits next to the French leader with surprising results.
The 1930s fashion photograph is, again, from the Dovima is devine II photostream.