Hunter Goatley is the Administrator (the SpecialX/MM/raasnio) of the Robert McCammon Website. He posted this there:
Has anyone else here read the books by Michael Slade? I'm a big fan of the series, and I just finished the most recent novel, Swastika. I discovered Slade when I saw the hardcover edition of the first Slade novel, Headhunter, and bought it. I was blown away by it, and have been impressed with every novel since then. The novels are set in Canada and detail the serial-killer cases handled by (the fictional) Special X of the RCMP.
One of the reasons I enjoy the books so much is that most of them include lots of historical fact as background for the stories. Swastika's chapters alternate between the present time and World War II; the WWII chapters serve as background for the story going on in the present time. In fact, I'd venture that more than half of the book is devoted to the WWII story, and I found it very fascinating. It details the work of Wernher von Braun, who designed Germany's V-2 ballistic missiles, which were built using concentration camp slave labor. Over 20,000 men who were forced to build the missiles were killed by the Nazis. As the Americans defeated the Nazis, von Braun engineered the surrender of himself and 500 rocket scientists. Von Braun went on to be instrumental in setting up the U.S. space program, designing all of the rockets that put the U.S. into space. A quick 'net search reveals that most of the events covered in Swastika's WWII chapters is historically accurate. You can read about von Braun in this Wikipedia article, as well as many other sites.
In my high school history classes, WWII was reduced to a few names, dates, and places. Due to my WWII ignorance, I had never heard of von Braun, and had no idea that he was smuggled into the U.S., given a clean slate, and became the father of the U.S. space program. And if not for Michael Slade (which is really a pseudonym), I still wouldn't know anything about it.