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Fetch the Devil: The Sierra Diablo Murders and Nazi Espionage in America

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In 1938, Hazel Frome, the wife of a powerful executive at Atlas Powder Company, a San Francisco explosives manufacturer, set out on a cross-country motor trip with her twenty-three-year-old daughter, Nancy. When their car broke down in El Paso, Texas, they made the most of being stranded by staying at a posh hotel and crossing the border to Juarez for shopping, dining, and ...more
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Foreedge (first published January 1st 2014)
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FETCH THE DEVIL deserves points for its studious research, a lot of it never before made public. This book reveals some of the extensive Nazi spy networks in America before World War II.

That must be the reason so many other reviews of this book rant and rave about how good it is. I, however, look for more than that. I want to enjoy what I read, not just find it interesting.

A page turner this is not. It reads like a report, even the descriptions of the mother and daughter and their mysterious mur
Josh Muhlenkamp
Jul 26, 2014 Josh Muhlenkamp rated it really liked it
This book was given to me as part of Goodreads' First Reads program.

In most true crime books, the perpetrator is caught and punished, and it wraps up very neatly. Not this one, although the author does advance a theory as to exactly what happened at the very end.

Two women (one of them a beautiful young woman) get murdered in 1930s Texas, and predictably the law enforcement community goes into overdrive to solve the murders. But the many agencies working on the case were unable to work together;
Jan 20, 2016 Susanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this made me wonder HOW DID ANYTHING EVER GET SOLVED in the old days? Seriously. Not just the constant internecine backbiting and case sabotage among law enforcement groups, but the insistence, the blind reliance upon the idea Only Bad People Do Bad Things so "rounding up the usual suspects" would solve every crime.

One Sheriff in this saga tried to do things differently, tried to share all information, tried to encourage cooperation, and did not receive the same courtesy, crippling his
Apr 27, 2016 Glenda rated it liked it
Hm... so I'm very mixed on this, and not sure how to describe it without giving anything away.

It's well researched, though I admit I had a moment of confusion on that when it was mentioned that the official files were destroyed without the author seeing them - but there is considerable footnotes and references so considerable material was archived in various places.

I admittedly never thought much about the presence of German or Russian spies the US or Mexico before (or during) World War II - s
Aug 19, 2014 Rebecca rated it liked it
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

This book presents the author's theory that the Frome murders were committed by members of a Nazi spy ring operating in the US. I hadn't head anything about the murders before reading this. The first part of the book reads like your average true crime book. This part I found quite boring, but that's probably because I'm not a true crime fan. The author does a very good job of constructing his theory connecting the spies to the murders. It
Jul 29, 2016 Carrie rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, incomplete
I could not make it through this book. I tried, but I had to give up. The author did a lot of research and clearly worked very hard, but it is just not a great story for a full-length book. In order to make it sufficiently long, the author goes into excruciating detail about matters that are just not that interesting. In a summarized format, the story is actually pretty fascinating; it is about the unsolved murders of a mother and daughter in Texas in the 30s and their connection to a Nazi spy ...more
Aug 05, 2014 Sunsettowers rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
What most impressed me about this book is how well the author made the time period come alive. This book explores the still unsolved murders of two American women traveling alone through Southwest America, and how it is highly possible that their murders were not connected to drug cartels or highway robbery, as many originally believed, but instead to Nazi espionage right in America. The author really weaves in little known (at least to me) history of espionage in America leading up to World War ...more
*** Won as part of a goodreads giveaway ***

This book could have been half the length. There were some interesting bursts but in between were tedious details and ramblings that did not add to the story. It is an interesting story and could have been very engaging if the authors best was shown throughout the book. I gave up about a third the way in.
Emily Graves
Jun 03, 2015 Emily Graves rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, true-crime
For true-crime aficionados, a gem. A fascinating look at the depth and breadth of Axis spies in the Western US just before WWII, and how it might have resulted in the brutal torture and murder of two California socialites. Richmond stops short of sensationalism, and responsibly separates his own theory from the facts.
May 02, 2015 Ellen rated it liked it
True crime is not my favorite genre, but I was inspired to read this by a library patron who said there was Nazi espionage in El Paso, Texas during World War II. No spoilers here, but the case was drawn out over time because of squabbles over turf by various law enforcement agencies, and that was a little boring.
Oct 09, 2014 Kennedy rated it really liked it
I tried vainly to stay awake several nights in a row because I wanted to keep reading this book. The mystery remains unsolved, but I think the author's idea of what may have happened seems pretty realistic with the info he discovered in his research. It's a good true crime story with some unknown to me history of spies in the US prior to WWII.
Linda Bass
This is as intriguing as any fictional mystery. Be sure to put aside a day or two to do nothing but read this book. If you are a local (El Paso) history buff, you're in for a treat. Most of you do not know about this chapter of local history, and will thank your lucky stars that someone saved some very important crime files.
Jun 20, 2014 Ian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Very interesting story of a long forgotten double murder and an unlikely connection with Nazi agents in the prelude to World War Two. Well written and detailed account that would be of interest to true crime enthusiasts.
Anthony Ambruso
Jan 29, 2016 Anthony Ambruso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An edge-of-your-seat thriller

Truth is stranger than fiction. This bit of history was unknown to me, and I will never forget it. It is a haunting tale, like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You wish you could reach out and stop it from happening. Well written.
Paul Weaver
Mar 16, 2016 Paul Weaver rated it liked it
Nonfiction is different for me, as it is slower going and the ending may not be what you like, or there may not be a conclusion. An interesting subject that I knew little about before I read this book.
Nov 09, 2014 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I was really excited as I started this book. But, it finally got to a point that I just wanted it over. The case was never solved and a lot of it was conjecture. It was interesting about a major Nazi spy ring in the US. It is not a book I would read a second time.
Feb 05, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect Who-/Why-/How-dunit

Excellent piece of history that is a real page turner. The author's ideas of what happened make sense. I would recommend this book to anyone:
·Looking for a good read
·Likes mysteries
·Likes true crime
·Is a World War II buff
Feb 07, 2016 JanLyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

If you like true crime,this book is a good read. Well researched and written and very educational .I would recommend this book
Damian Polanco
Oct 29, 2015 Damian Polanco rated it really liked it
Good book. Very detailed. These murders have never been solved although the author's theory seems to be the most practical solution.

I recommend this book.
Jul 15, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Extremely interesting, and the author poses an extremely plausible explanation of the events of what will always remain an unsolved crime.
Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -
Jul 21, 2014 Gwen - Chew & Digest Books - rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, july, 2014
In short: It reminds me of my favorite non-fiction author, Erik Larson and that is mighty high praise coming from me.
Molly rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2016
Denise Touvell
Denise Touvell rated it really liked it
Oct 20, 2014
Rebecca Martin
Rebecca Martin rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2016
Victoria rated it liked it
Aug 02, 2016
Penny R. Heaberlin
Penny R. Heaberlin rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2016
notRahimeanymore rated it really liked it
Jun 23, 2016
Alicia rated it liked it
May 09, 2016
Lynn Demsky
Lynn Demsky rated it did not like it
Jun 10, 2015
Ines Riera
Ines Riera rated it really liked it
Oct 30, 2014
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CLINT RICHMOND, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, has more than thirty years' professional experience as a nonfiction book author, newspaper reporter, and freelance magazine journalist. He has published on a wide range of topics, from domestic terrorism and true crime, to pop psychology and celebrity biography.

FETCH THE DEVIL: The Sierra Diablo Murders and Nazi Espionage in America is his
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