So many people have written such wonderful things about the book – thank you all. It’s great to know you enjoyed Secrets of the Last Nazi, and that Myles Munro is so popular.
Here are some of your reviews of Secrets of the Last Nazi:
“Either this author has pulled off one of the most amazing Derren Brown type wondertricks of all time (just how did he do that?); or it changes fundamentally the way people understand the world. And it’s an excellent story, too. This really is the most amazing, impressive book I’ve read for more than a decade. Really.” – Peter Cranston, Amazon.
“Best Book I’ve Read for A Very Long Time” – Steve Salter, Kobo.
“This book stands out in so many ways, I wish I could have given it six stars (or more). It really is an absolutely remarkable main theme, told through a riveting plot, with an astonishing ending. Brilliant.” – Harriet, Amazon.
“Superb. Excellent, fast-paced, intriguing. I really had to read it at one sitting.” – Stella M, Amazon.
“When I read books, I always hope for three things – fast action, interesting plot (and plot twisters) and interesting details. Secrets of the Last Nazi succeeds in all three.” – Bjorn H, via Kindle.
“I’m hooked on Myles Munro, the hapless hero of this fantastic and intelligent yarn. At once a fantastic thriller, but so deftly interwoven with science fact, history and observation from what must reflect real experiences it is hard ot imagine this is a first foray into fiction for King. Highly recommended.” – ‘Itoloshi’, via Kindle.
“Brilliant and fast paced. I’ll recommend to my friends.’‘ – ‘FindMyWay’, via Kindle.
“Tremendous fun from intriguing, teasing outset to a conclusion that I wouldn’t want to spoil. Detailed without being a slog to get through, the reader is invited to think more deeply as the story romps along. If Mr King is going to continue to produce this best-of-breed material, I’ll make sure to get hold of future books, too.” – Perdesthai, Paperback.
“I’ll definitely be recommending it to everyone. It had a little of everything – mystery, action and betrayal.” – ‘Clippers for sure’, US Amazon.
“One of the most original and carefully thought out stories that have yet to appear in print.” – Paul Lane.
There was only space to include a small number of your comments. Thanks to everyone who has written such great reviews for the book. It is your words which have made Secrets of the Last Nazi a huge success.
Most online sites promote books with higher ratings. Give Secrets of the Last Nazi five stars, and others will enjoy the book, too.
The next Myles Munro book, ‘The Last Prophecy of Rome’, will be out in spring 2016.
What was the most important battle of World War One? There are lots of contenders. Many in Britain would consider the Battle of the Somme (July-November 1916) to be the most important – it was certainly the most deadly for the UK , although it did little to shift frontlines or change the strategic balance.
In France, the Battle of Verdun stands out. It ran throughout most of 1916, and cost almost a million lives. But it was also one of the war’s most futile confrontations.
At sea, the Battle of Jutland (May 1916) was the greatest encounter, but it wasn’t decisive. And away from the Eastern Front, perhaps the Gallipoli campaign offered the biggest chance to change the war – although it ultimately failed.
Which is why the most important battle of the war was probably at Tannenberg, in August 1914 (the 101st anniversary is next week). It was the first big battle on the Eastern Front, and resulted in a huge win for the Germans. Some 150,000 Russian soldiers were killed or captured, and a large part of their imperial army collapsed as a military force. Crucially, Tannenberg allowed the Germans to swing their troops back towards France, and with speed. If the battle had gone even better for them, they may have broken through in the West and the war really would have been over by Christmas. If it had gone just slightly worse, the war would have been over too – but with a different result. The protracted stalemate of the First World War resulted from the exact scale of the German victory at Tannenberg.
The battle occurred in what is now north-eastern Poland, and it happened five days after an eclipse centred just 281 miles from the battle. The eclipse was on 21st August – the day German and British troops first clashed on the Western Front. Britain’s first military casualty, John Parr, died within minutes of the eclipse.
Ancient people have long associated eclipses with war, and it’s not hard to see why. Just before Alexander the Great invaded Persia, there was a solar eclipse over Tyre, a city he captured in a defining moment of his campaign. And the crusades, which ran for two centuries, began just after an eclipse over Jerusalem in September 1093.
Several major military confrontations were presaged by eclipses. The earliest recorded case was in May 585BC, when philosopher Thales predicted an eclipse which interrupted the Battle of Halys. Fighting stopped for an hour or so, and the Battle became known as the Battle of the Eclipse. There have been many other examples since then.
Perhaps the most precise coincidence between war and eclipse was in Korea. Big elections were planned for 10th May 1948. Just one day before, the United Nations agreed it was only going to monitor voting in the south, and on that very day – 9th May 1948 – there was an eclipse exactly over Korea. Violence on the peninsula soon escalated, and by 1950 it was a full-scale war.
Solar eclipses are rare, and can be centred over any point on earth. The coincidence of these eclipses happening so close to the battles which followed is some two-trillion (2,000,000,000,000) to one.
Could the ancient peoples who used eclipses to anticipate war have been on to something?
Why wars and eclipses are connected is not clear. Wars don’t cause eclipses, and we can only guess how eclipses might cause wars; they probably don’t. But, as any statistician will tell you, correlation doesn’t mean causation, which means good correlations don’t need the two events to be connected in any way. The one-in-two-trillion link between wars and eclipses is the perfect example.
The correlation between war and eclipses made perfect research material for the Nazis…
‘Secrets of the Last Nazi’ has now become a NUMBER ONE bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic.
In Britain, it has become the best-selling spy story. Facing impressive competition from established authors – including John Le Carré, Ken Follett, Chris Ryan and Wilbur Smith – the book has topped the UK Amazon rankings for both spy stories and espionage. It has also reached the number two position for international mystery and crime, and may reach the top spot in that category soon.
Meanwhile, in the USA, the book has become the number one new release in its fiction category. Americans browsing the Amazon website now see an orange flag beneath the five star customer reviews for the book to note its special status.
Thank you to everybody who has written so many wonderful five star reviews on both the US and UK Amazon sites. Please keep telling your friends how much you liked the book. This success has come from your words.
In 1912, Alfred Wegener – a distinguished German polar explorer, who was later wounded in World War One – mused about the coasts of Africa and South America, and wondered why they fit together so neatly. He proposed the theory of ‘Continental Drift’ – that continents moved slowly around the surface of the earth, movement that could also explain earthquakes, fossil records and some geological features.
Wegener’s theory was mocked, especially in the 1920s and 1930s in the USA, by scientists who labelled it ‘bad science’. The scientists’ critique was that, even though Wegener’s theory fitted the evidence very well indeed, there was no ‘causal explanation’. In other words, the scientific community couldn’t understand how Wegener’s theory might work, so they rejected it.
Wegener died in 1930, and only a few scientists took up his cause, including Harvard geology Professor Reginald A. Daly, Irish geologist John Joly, and Arthur Holmes from Britain. But they were still in a minority. The Western scientific establishment still rejected the idea of continental drift because it was seen as an ‘autocratic’ theory; and it fitted the facts ‘too neatly’. The truth was that Wegener’s theory undermined the views which established scientists had used to make their names.
It took the so-called ‘scientific community’ half a century to accept what the evidence had made clear long before: that continents do drift. Finally, plate tectonics was accepted.
The story of how plate tectonics came to be accepted is revealing: leading scientists denied it, and were able to maintain the fiction that it was nonsense for several decades. Their reasons for doing so were that it ‘fitted the evidence too well’ and that ‘they couldn’t understand how it happened.’ These are both astoundingly unscientific responses: one says ‘we shouldn’t believe a theory when the evidence for it is too strong’. The other says, ‘our ignorance entitles us to believe something can’t be true’. A good scientist would examine the evidence and go with it. They may ask for more information, or challenge the facts, or just declare ignorance – which means they can assume it isn’t true, but not that it can’t be.
How could scientists get away with such nonsense? The answer is to do with power and status: the population respects the power and status of scientists over matters they consider to be scientific; while the scientists recognise that to admit they were wrong would demean their power and status.
Scientists have a record of being unscientific on other issues, too. Quantum physics is now considered science – but only after many years of denial. Even Albert Einstein asserted it was impossible, despite the strong evidence that it was true.
Powered flight was also considered impossible – even after the Wright brothers had actually done it. Indeed, there were other inventors, such as Karl Jatho of Germany, and Clement Ader of France, who probably flew up to a decade before December 1903, when Orville and Wilbur launched themselves into the air. But Jatho and Ader’s claims were rejected. Why? Because scientists had a prejudice that heavier-than-air flight was impossible. And they refused to let their ignorance be swayed by evidence that it had actually been done.
Is it better today? No. Many scientists are still very unscientific. The scientists who control the academic press are often very biased towards articles which confirm their prejudices, and the viewpoints which won them their professorships. Publication bias is rife (which means research is published according to what it says, not how well the research was done). And even though publication bias has been proven to exist, many scientists act on their prejudice that it doesn’t matter much. Again: scientists are ignoring evidence because it threatens their power and status, and packaging their prejudice as ‘scientific fact’.
Indeed, ‘science’ may have become even less scientific than it used to be.* Why? Because scientists are battling many people who deny strong evidence, including climate change-deniers, tobacco lobbyists and creationists. It has polarised debate, meaning that many people who favour a scientific approach instinctively support scientists and don’t want to challenge them.
‘Scientific’ articles which confirm a prejudice can fly around the internet before the evidence to the contrary has been typed into a spreadsheet. And evidence that something else might be true, something unexpected or novel – even when that evidence is a one-in-two-trillion chance (that is, 100 billion times above the common threshold for ‘statistically significant’) – can be safely buried as belonging to the non-scientific viewpoint.
So the question is, what are scientists being unscientific about today? There are probably many things.
And there is one ‘mind blowing’ example in my new book, ‘Secrets of the Last Nazi’.
* This particular assertion is based on very shallow evidence. I will willingly retract this assertion if someone presents evidence that modern scientists are not less scientific than they used to be. Why are you surprised to see this caveat? Because scientists should say it often, but they don’t.
The story opens with the discovery of a well connected Nazi SS commander dead in Berlin in 2015. Werner Stolz guarded the last secret of Hitler and the Nazis for 70 years. A secret so deadly that if discovered could plunge the world into a fight for power because of it. Military historian Myles Munro and an international team he leads are tasked with piecing together the complex puzzle left by Stolz.
When one of his team is killed, Myles realizes that the stakes are much higher than originally perceived and quite possibly his group includes a traitor. The hunt for the secret and its ramifications broadens all across Europe. What comes out are factors that might be useful in predicting future events. It appears that the Nazis had used the secret to try and ascertain major future happenings. King indicates in…