iris literary agency

The Haber rule

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The haber ruleCan the economic crisis bring the ghost of fascism in Europe back to life?

Marianna, a 30-year-old Greek lawyer, is totally dedicated to the objective of the “Germany for a United Europe” organization, namely the spreading of German culture. Her romance with the German head of the organization, the charming cosmopolitan Otto Schandau, is an extra motive for her to work even harder towards her goals.

Everything turns upside-down during her last trip to Munich, due to the appearance of Spanish political scientist and activist Enrique Rojas, who claims that  the organization is nothing but a Trojan horse for the peaceful conquest of Europe. Through Rojas, Marianna finds out that many of the organization members are descendants of either “Wehrmacht children”, that is children born to German soldiers and women from conquered countries, or “Lebensborn”, children born in the communities where Heinrich Himmler attempted to “create” his Aryan Race.

All she had believed until then is considerably shaken, but what will follow will confirm her fears in the most dramatic way. A strange accident costing the life of a Greek friend of hers who resided in Munich and was trying to help her find the truth, the inexplicable death of an important German professor maintaining that some people in his country have learned nothing from World War II, and the simultaneous disappearance of his archives weave a net of fear around her. But nothing is as important as the sudden loss of her mother, who her family doctor has no doubt was murdered.

Marianna feels lonely, surrounded by enemies, unaware of who those might really be. She takes the risk of trusting Rojas, and also Theo Auguste Renard, a Belgian art dealer, and Dominique Peretti, a French economist, who appear along the way. Their knowledge of politics, art, history, and economics are absolutely necessary for her to make sense of a series of strange and unconnected facts and legends. She wants to know about the new “Nazi Princess” who is to take the place of aging Himmler’s daughter Gudrun, and solve the riddle called “The Haber Rule”.

Thus starts a journey through Europe full of twists and surprises. The heterogeneous party’s cohesion is at stake over and over, due not only to the fear caused by their findings, but also to the growing suspicion about each one’s real role and the doubt about whether they should trust each other.

Marianna is facing a big dilemma. Much of what she has believed so far is tumbling down; her world is not what she thought it to be. Will she accept the new situation, or reject it and fight it ?

English translation available

Michalis Pitenis

Michalis Pitenis was born in northern Greece in 1962. He lives in Kozani and works as a journalist. He has worked on T.V, radio, newspapers and press releases. He has written 4 novels, and four short stories collections. He also writes for the theater.