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Posted September 19, 2003
4th Reading-Still Astonishes
Being an avid reader of Jack Higgins' World War 2 novels, I picked up this book at Barnes & Noble simply because the cover art looked similar to that of Higgins' books. I'd never heard of Christopher Hyde. From page one I was, if you'll forgive me using a publisher's cliche, 'riveted.' Last week,I casually picked the book off my shelf for the 4th time in a few years and figured I'd just read the first few pages - that was it, I never put it down. Hyde's observation of people and places is almost superhuman, like he was some alien looking down on us all and analyzing us. The plot reads like Higgins and Ludlam put together and speeded fast forward on a VCR. An astonishing array of characters (most, with the exception of the main character, Detective Inspector Morris Black and a few other peripheral characters, are real people) and recreaction of real events. Hyde's description of wartime London rings true (my parents were there.) I'll forgive him the few technical errors - like getting his railway terminals mixed up - it's hard to believe he himself didn't live through the Blitz. In 1940, when the book is set, if Hyde had known this much about the machinations of the Britsh Secret Service, the decoded Nazi 'Ultra' signals that probably won Britain the war, the people who wanted a separate peace, with Hitler, he'd have been disposed of faster that you can say 'spy!' What's even more amazing are the revelations about the sexual and political activities of some of the well known people of the day - obviously true otherwise the publishers would have been sued to the ends of the earth! Just when you think the book can't get any better, it really starts to take off with a climax and an incredible plot twist toward the end that will break you out into a cold sweat! This is history, Higgins, Ludlam and Co. at it's best, written with an aplomb an style that would make Joyce Carol Oates blush!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 17, 2003
Posted October 8, 2000
MASTERPIECE OF LITERARY SUSPENSE
Fabulously conceived, researched, written, and executed . . . A flawless page-turner. Why is everyone reading and praising trash, when there are books like this out there? I noticed on the book jacket the New York Times hadn't even reviewed it--they're too busy prosecuting Wen Ho Lee for the U.S. govt. and reviewing their cronies' books, I suppose.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.