The Man from Mittelwerk by M.Z. Urlocker

“All morning, there had been a foul smell, heavy in the air. The closer we got to Mittelbau-Dora, the worse it was. Pigs? Slaughterhouse? Unclear.”

~ The Man From Mittelwerk by M.Z. Urlocker 

Writing as M.Z. Urlocker, Michael and Zack Urlocker expertly build on the history of a Nazi-run underground factory that used labour from the Concentration Camps in this riveting thriller.

The story opens with an intriguing back story that immerses readers in the trenches of World War II. There’s tension as we follow American Agent Jack Waters on his mission to meet an operative known only to him as “F.” They are on a mission to stop the Nazis from taking over the world, and get the German scientists and equipment to the Allies. 

To avoid spoilers, I’ll jump ahead to the next chapter, set in 1950, when Jack is running a detective agency with Faith, his partner in life and business. A startling discovery in one of his cases forces Jack to revisit the events that took place in the secret underground laboratory five years earlier. 

I can’t say too much without giving away spoilers. I usually shy away from history-based thrillers, but the action, tight writing and engrossing descriptions played out like a movie. I found myself engaged in Jack’s demons, his predicament, and the well-developed plot that highlights the traumas of war, but also the complex and controversial issues of Operation Paperclip’s recruitment of Nazi scientists. There is an element of Ray Bradbury sci-fi in this that added a bit of the Raymond Chandler feel to the story, but didn’t take away from the original enjoyment of the story.

This grand escape for fans of historical fiction, and thrillers like An Officer and A Spy, and Munich, by Robert Harris, will have them looking forward to M.Z. Urlocker’s next title.


“When you come out of a coma, it doesn’t happen all at once. It’s like emerging from a long dream. The only difference is the dream keeps pulling you back.”

~ The Man From Mittelwerk by M.Z. Urlocker 

Disclaimer. I was provided a free copy of this title.