First serious examination of the curious demise of Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler that also investigates an extraordinary web of secret deals and international intrigue.
On 23 May 1945 Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS and architect of the Holocaust, committed suicide in Allied custody. So why was MI6's most talented secret agent Kim Philby unconvinced by the story of Himmler's suicide?
Hugh Thomas set out to answer Philby's question and has uncovered a maze of corruption, high finance, political gambles and international intrigue.
'With elegant argument and meticulous research, Thomas has produced the non-fiction equivalent of a Robert Harris or Frederick Forsyth novel.' Roger Hutchinson, Scotsman
'Thomas has a scalpel-sharp eye for detail. The central thesis - and the evidence for it is vivid - is that Himmler was attempting to set up a Fourth Reich outside the boundaries of Hitler's Germany. Compelling.' Jonathan Glancey, Guardian
'Ever since 1945, the world has believed that Heinrich Himmler evaded his just deserts by committing suicide when he fell into British hands shortly after the end of the Second World War. The Allies would have liked to put him on trial alongside Goering and the other major war criminals. Himmler, the greatest mass murderer of all time, cheated the hangman. But was it really Himmler?' Mail on Sunday
Hugh Thomas is a surgeon and forensic expert of international repute. His 1979 book, The Murder of Rudolf Hess, caused a world-wide furore as it alleged that the prisoner in Spandau Gaol was not Rudolf Hess. His second book Hess: A Tale of Two Murders precipitated a six month Scotland Yard inquiry which saw its report immediately suppressed.