Jacob Newman is ready to return home to his ailing wife and family. He is approached by two men that slip him something that appears to be his grandfather's journal and a photo taken of his grandparents taken in the 1920's. He is called in by the government agency to look at something they found. Seems to be an alien artifact about three times the size of Yankee Stadium. Jacob is reluctant because his wife is so sick and he wants to see her. His boss Malcom tells him that it is a national security emergency and he needs to go to Chile, where he will be transported to the artifact.
He reluctantly goes and the artifact is a type of underwater floating vessel with eight floating screens inside. Each screen seems to be a window into a "violent" event of Earth's past. Jacob and Malcom theorize that the Earth may be on the verge of being judged by an alien race for all its violence.
Also in the vessel is a weird device that they call the Kronos device. While experimenting with the device, Jacob is transported briefly back in time to the Dachau Concentration camp and sees his grandmother dead. After this vision he reads in his grandfather's journal that he had a chance to kill Hitler in 1924 and failed to follow through. Jacob takes all of this as a sign, that is, if he can go back and help his grandfather actually kill Hitler he will save his grandmother and the mass killing of millions and somehow "please" the aliens who "may" be judging the human race.
Malcom warns him that he should not mess with the past because doing so could have catastrophic effects on the present. Of course Jacob doesn't listen and uses the Kronos device to go back and make sure the deed his grandfather failed to do, is carried out.
The book is hard to put down and the author does a good job at making the reader care for Jacob and his predicament. The book also does a good job of showing the world what was inside the mind of Hitler. But as any reader can guess, you should not mess with the past. Outside of films like Back to the Future, all stories involving messing with the past only leads to worse consequences and this story is no different. Jacob should have realized this up front and listened to Malcom but just on a "flimsy" notion decides to go against common sense and for that I could not give this book the full five stars.
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