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Operation Napoleon

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Excellent

In 1945, a bomber containing Americans and Germans crashes into the Vatnajokull Glacier on Iceland. One person leaves the plane during a blizzard rejecting the plane as a coffin. Two Brothers saw the flight and expected a crash but due to weather conditions could not ...
In 1945, a bomber containing Americans and Germans crashes into the Vatnajokull Glacier on Iceland. One person leaves the plane during a blizzard rejecting the plane as a coffin. Two Brothers saw the flight and expected a crash but due to weather conditions could not seek help until four days later. American troops arrive, but find almost nothing of a flight and the air base at Reykjavik also knows nothing of it.

In 1999, satellite technology points to a location in the moving glacier. Led by General Carr, the Americans return to Vatnajokull to extract the German bomber from the ice. At the excavation site is Elias who innocently calls his older sister Kristin to tell her what he is doing. The soldiers retrieve his phone from him and send assassins to kill his sister who works at the Iceland Foreign Ministry in Reykjavík. She escapes when her boss comes to yell at her as he is shot in the head. While the Americans do what they do best, run a disingenuous disinformation campaign filled with lies, Kristin investigates Operation Napoleon.

Though Nazi conspiracy thrillers have been done many times, Arnaldur Indridason provides a fresh exhilarating take on the collaboration premise. The American propaganda spin is deftly handled as the media is manipulated to support the endeavor (mindful of the steps leading to the Iraq War) and criminalize Kristin (Mindful of the Wilson-Plame outing). The story line is fast-paced from the opening plane crash and never slows down as the beleaguered heroine escorts readers throughout her country in search of what the Americans fear someone else will find out the truth.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on September 17, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

As the end of the second world war draws near, an American plane

As the end of the second world war draws near, an American plane crashes into an Icelandic glacier. The U.S. Army sends a team of soldiers, lead by a captain whose brother was on the flight, to uncover the wreckage and search for survivors. Unfortunately, by the time th...
As the end of the second world war draws near, an American plane crashes into an Icelandic glacier. The U.S. Army sends a team of soldiers, lead by a captain whose brother was on the flight, to uncover the wreckage and search for survivors. Unfortunately, by the time the team arrives, the plane is buried by the ice and is invisible to those searching for it. As treaties are signed and the war officially ends, it seems that this may be one of the last tragedies of the war.

Flash forward to the year 1999. Kristin is working in a legal office and dealing with disgruntled clients who are seemingly involved with the mob. Her brother, Elias, calls from a glacier where he is part of a team of seventy or so people involved with exploration and rescue. Kristin warns her brother to be carful and he, like any younger sibling, brushes off the warning as unnecessary. Kristen is startled when she receives a call from her brother a few days later. He tells her that he and a friend went out on snowmobiles when they spotted a plane. The call ends suddenly when mentions a group of soldiers. The events that follow, trust Kristin in the midst of a huge conspiracy that threatens the life of her, loved ones, and the future of US and Iceland national security.

Author Arnaldur Indriðason layers his novel with interesting characters, all motivated by their own personal appetite to either destroy or reveal the secrets held in this buried plane. Action is the driving force of this novel, but Indriðason provides enough emotion in his characters to keep the story from becoming a purely plot driven book. There is also a great exploration of US/Iceland relationship on both a government and person to person level, that gives the story a striking element of realism. Without these touches of reality, the story may have seemed a bit over the top. Through his use of historical accuracy, emotional character connections, a thrilling plot, and an ending that left me reeling, Arnaldur Indriðason has crafted an exciting story that I really enjoyed reading.

posted by ABookAWeekES on July 8, 2012

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