Fatherland is a murder investigation/thriller. It is set in the run up to Adolf Hitler’s 75th birthday and imagines a world where the Nazis won the second world war.
It works very well as a police procedural that escalates. It is well written and the main characters are interesting. The plot twists keep the reader engaged nicely and the story is strong enough to work without the alternate reality theme.
Setting the book in a 1964 Nazi run Europe adds an extra dimension to the book. It is not overdone, it changes some peoples motivation and skews the world’s perspective. I found the change refreshing. The book contains some fictional characters and some fictionalised versions of real characters. He envisages many of those who died or disappeared towards the end of the war as still alive and powerful after Germany won.
Fatherland is well researched and some of the scenes in the book are harrowing but it is not gory or gratuitous in any way. It was a huge best seller when it was released almost 25 years ago. I think it has stood the test of time and is still a very enjoyable read.