Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn the grim winter of 1916-17, just before America officially joins the Allies in WW I, undercover British agents prowl Berlin, trying to verify a rumor that the Germans have developed a deadly strain of infectious disease for use as a weapon. Also involved in the search is Eli Gordon, an American physician whose life has been torn asunder by the death of his young daughter. His investigation leads to a German colonel, head of the chemical armaments ministry, who recently died in bed with a beautiful young woman. The mystery woman proves to be an Allied sympathizer, a researcher at the Institute for Infectious Diseases who has made a secret medical breakthrough and who also knows the truth about the Germans' supposed secret weapon. She and Gordon must escape Germany with their knowledge before the British recklessly unleash chemical weaponry with potentially disastrous consequences. This well-done thriller closes with an unexpected and properly dark surprise. 35,000 first printing; $35,000 ad/promo; BOMC alternate. (May)
Library Journal - Library JournalThis brisk medical thriller, set in Germany in 1915, is as dark and distinctive (and as violent) as its title. Patrick, author of Spirals (LJ 8/83), has crafted another complex plot crowded with characters. Ira Gordon, an American surgeon sent to Berlin by the British Secret Service to investigate German chemical disease warfare, encounters a beautiful researcher who has created a crude form of penicillin at Berlin's Institute for Infectious Diseases. If she can survive the attempts on her life by German Intelligence, her discovery will revolutionize modern medicine. Meanwhile, Winston Churchill, Britain's First Lord of the Admiralty, plots to stem the German's tide of disease before it wipes out Western Europe. A challenging book for Robert Ludlum, Ken Follett, and Clive Cussler fans.-- Joyce Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.
- Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
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Blood Winter based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Blood Winter by William Patrick The year is 1917. WWI is on its third year. The British blockade of Germany has the country almost starved. The Germans have consumed their canine and feline populations and have started butchering people as a source of meat. ("Soilent Green is people"). In the middle of this chaos, there's British intelligence that suggest that Germany is planning a last ditch effort: Operation Alberich. The British suspect this to be a chemical warfare - simply because they are thinking the same. The British have developed a weapon capable of delivering anthrax to the battlefield but they are afraid to use it because they don't have an antidote. Enter Eli Gordon, a Harvard graduate physician who is helping at the surgical hospitals in France. Because he's an American, and the US has yet to enter the war, he's recruited by the British to investigate the German chemical arsenal, and whether the German possess a "magical bullet" to combat the anthrax. Gordon's venture in Berlin leads him to Dr. Margarethe Riesling, a University of Michigan graduate that is currently working on the biochemical warfare department at the Institute for Infectious diseases in Berlin. Dr. Riesling is the only person who can prove to the British that the Germans do not possess a chemical arsenal, but she is in line to discover penicillin - the "magical bullet" given to the world by Alexander Fleming in 1928. Ultimately, Riesling and Gordon, bound first by necessity but then by passion, must survive a deadly chase across Germany into Holland to prevent the greatest military atrocity the world has ever known. They are chased by Andreas Schiller, a German criminal detective investigating the death of Colonel Kraft von Stade, Riesling's lover who was killed by her. They must also evade major Walther Ostriker, the Under Director of the Center of German intelligence - who is trying to prevent that "magical bullet" to get into British hands, and finally by Dr. Eskne Fist - the Kaiser's personal dentist and leader of the German black market in the war - who was Riesling's lover long time ago - and who's determined to get her at any cost. A historical fiction narrated from the third person point of view by many of the characters, I thought it was not well written. The author keeps changing points of view constantly from one character to another - sometimes even to minor characters who serve no purpose on the plot. It was confusing to read and tedious to follow. I would have narrowed the point of view only to the main characters and perhaps it would have been an easier and more enjoyable read.