A compelling, finely-crafted, intelligent thriller set in the Second World War.
It is 1940, and war is raging in Europe. With forty million citizens of German ancestry, there is great pressure within America to stay out of the fight. Elements ranging from the Nazi-sympathetic German-American Bund to the WASP-led America First movement are working feverishly to make sure America does not intervene on the side of a beleaguered Great Britain.
Stephen Nessheim, a 28-year-old German-American Lutheran, is working for the still-fledgling FBI. Having grown up in a small Wisconsin town, Nessheim has attended the University of Chicago already known for its radical theories of education and Leftist sympathies. But Nessheim is conservative, befitting his small town upbringing as the son of a schoolteacher, and plays American football in college. Dealing with his own conflicts and that of his divided community, Nessheim finds himself assigned to infiltrate the Bund to seek out suspected Nazi-extremists. His investigations take him deep into the heart of Roosevelt's government. But as he moves closer to the truth, another even more sinister plot emerges which threatens the very foundations of American democracy...
“A chilling and meticulously detailed historical novel that explores one of the great 'what-if' questions of twentieth-century history, the events that so nearly kept America on the sidelines of World War II. The range of characters and settings is particularly impressive, together with the depth of research underpinning them. The novel brings home to us the enormous stakes at issue in this lethal game that so few contemporaries even realised was being played. Andrew Rosenheim has the rare knack of being able to understand history from the perspectives of both the old world and the new. He is set clearly to become a new dark star of the literary thriller with a political edge.”
Andrew Taylor, author of THE AMERICAN BOY
“Andrew Rosenheim's ambitious thriller Fear Itself reveals a little known aspect of the second world war. A young FBI agent, Jimmy Nessheim, risks his life when he's ordered to infiltrate the Bund, a pro-Nazi organisation determined to keep America out of the war.”
“'An intriguing story, well told.'”
Jessica Mann, Literary Review
“An elegant political thriller... Written with style and skill, the novel slips seamlessly between the high politics of Germany and the US , with an ear for both, and a plot that is all too plausible.”
“Accomplished ... a superlative thriller ... Rosenheim's career as a writer of intelligent and nuanced thrillers looks very promising indeed.”
Barry Forshaw, Independent
“Fans of Le Carre, Deighton and all the other great spy masters will thoroughly enjoy Fear Itself.”
“This excellent historical thriller conveys the doubt and suspense that was felt during the Second World War . . . Ideal deckchair entertainment.”
Kate Saunders, The Times