Set in multiple locales in Canada, America, France, Germany, and England, before and during the Second World War, Volume Two of The Reflecting Man is the continuation of the antic, ribald journey of a loquacious and unreliable narrator, Kurtis De’ath, from the Maritimes in Canada, whose unusual talents lead him into the innermost circles of Hitler’s Third Reich and Churchill’s British government. Kurtis’ journey through the roots and branches of actual historical figures and events is, at its heart, in meticulous detail, an examination of how Europe went to war in 1939. The Reflecting Man is himself a reflection of his times. The novel is widely and deeply researched, employing hundreds of non-fiction accounts, journals, and diaries of actual participants and observers of the darkening clouds over Europe and the descent into war.
In VOLUME ONE, in 1922, in a small town in the Maritimes, an unusual boy with an unusual name is adopted by a Baptist family of candy and chocolate makers, following the suspicious deaths of his abusive parents. With his copy of Plain Facts for Young and Old by the renowned cereal king, Dr. Kellogg, to guide him, young Kurtis De’ath, a natural polyglot, comes to terms with a world he has only experienced through reading. Set to work in the family business, he becomes highly skilled at crafting Bird Bonz, also known as God’s Candy. He befriends Cinnamon Jim, a family relation of low I.Q. and phenomenal sales ability, who teaches Kurtis how to look-see, the art of deciphering people’s predilections and, ominously, how to fulfill them.
When Kurtis leaves for Montreal at the beginning of the Great Depression, he opens a tutoring business in a boarding house managed by Madame Laframboise, a landlady of strict Catholic faith, whose nephew is the emerging Quebecois Jesuit poet, Francois Hertel (Rodolphe Dubé). Despite the expansion and success of his tutoring business and a position teaching German at College de Brébeuf, Kurtis is enticed by an offer to join the Toronto Star and, later, to travel to Germany for the Toronto Globe in the company of his new friend and colleague, Erland Echland. It is Echland’s intention to interview the rising man of Europe, Mr. Adolf Hitler. Erl’s interview with Hitler, according to his secret diary, changes him forever and his abrupt departure for London leaves Kurtis on his own. A free ticket to a performance of Siegfried by Richard Wagner at the Bayreuth Festival leads to a job offer as Herr Death, a private secretary to Winifred Wagner, as well as a second position, that of the Shokoladenmann, maker of fine chocolates for the four Wagner children. He forms a friendship with Ulrich Roller who arrives at Wahnfried to assist the Wagner’s in a re-staging of the opera Parsifal which Hitler declares is at the very heart of National Socialism.
"The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events… incompetent or arrogant commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant fortune, ugly surprise, and awful miscalculations."
The Reflecting Man: Volume Three
Josef Goebbels, intrigued with ‘Herr Death,’ plots to remove him from Hitler’s presence while Kurtis begins collecting secrets which go to the very heart of Hitler and lay bare all facts. Although the mood in Germany in 1935 remains buoyant and the Berlin Olympics are on the horizon, Kurtis possesses disturbing knowledge which points to the ultimate goals of Göring, Goebbels, Himmler, and Hitler. Unsure whether to remain in Germany or go to England and take up Beaverbrook’s invitation to join the Daily Express and see Erl again, his mind is made up for him when Hitler himself sends Kurtis on a mission to find the men who will help him bring Britain into an alliance with Germany and, disturbingly, to kill Winston Churchill. Armed with a gold wafer promising the protection of the Führer, and several old diaries given to him by his morose friend, Schrecken, Volume One concludes with Kurtis bound for England on January 10, 1936.
VOLUME TWO IS NOW AVAILABLE.
In VOLUME TWO, in January of 1936, our loquacious and unreliable narrator, Kurtis De’ath arrives in London on the orders of Adolf Hitler. Kurtis is loaded with secrets, confections, and more than a few mysteries. Closeting his other identities (Herr Death, mysterious confidant of Adolf Hitler, and the Wagner Family’s Shokoladenmann, dispenser of the delightful Bird Bonz), he becomes fellow Maritimer, Lord Beaverbrook’s gossip columnist for the Daily Express and is immediately drawn into the political and social British maelstrom of Abdication and Appeasement. Deftly working his way through the class and clutter of English society as Kurtis Tod, he does his best to keep old friends (Erl Echland, Ulrich Roller, Bella Fromm), make new ones (Tom Driberg, William Joyce, ‘Huge’ Castlerosse), confound his enemies (Joseph Ball, Maxwell Knight, Josef Goebbels), and to derive some sense out of it all as the world edges even closer to a second Great War. And, when things get a little nasty, it may be that Kurtis De’ath is just the fellow you want on your side.
VOLUME THREE is AVAILABLE on APRIL 1st, 2017.
In VOLUME THREE in January of 1938, our loquacious and unreliable narrator, Kurtis De’ath returns to Germany, where he prepares for the trip with Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, to Moscow on the orders of Adolf Hitler (and Sir Joseph Ball back in London. While Kurtis probes the unspeakable secrets of the Holdomor, Stalin's extermination of more than four million men, women, and children in the Ukraine, Ulrich Roller has problems of his own as the Nazis annexe Austria, and the demands of the Wagners in Bayreuth become more onerous. Meanwhile, a female, African-American foreign correspondent finds an ally in Herr Death as Josef Goebbels continues to plot against The Shokoladenmann and Hermann Göring remains an everpresent danger.