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Operation Napoleon

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Overview

"Indridason fills the void that remainds after you've read Stieg Larsson's novels." —USA Today

Prepare for sizzling action in a riveting stand alone thriller from Arnaldur Indridason, the award-winning author of the Inspector Erlunder series.

 

Why is the US Army trying to secretively remove a plame from an Icelandic glacier, and why are they threatened by a young Icelandic rescue volunteer who manages to contact his sister Kristen before ...

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Operation Napoleon: A Thriller

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Overview

"Indridason fills the void that remainds after you've read Stieg Larsson's novels." —USA Today

Prepare for sizzling action in a riveting stand alone thriller from Arnaldur Indridason, the award-winning author of the Inspector Erlunder series.

 

Why is the US Army trying to secretively remove a plame from an Icelandic glacier, and why are they threatened by a young Icelandic rescue volunteer who manages to contact his sister Kristen before disappearing off the face of the earth? Kristin, who will not rest until she discovers the truth of her brother's fate, soon is in great danger herself, leading her on a long and hazardous journey in search of the key to the riddle about Operation Napoleon.

 

Flashback to 1945, when a German bomber flies over Iceland in a blizzard. The crew have lost their way and crash on a glacier. Puzzlingly, there are both Germand and American officers on board. One of the senior German officers claims that their best chance of survival is to try to walk to the nearest farm and sets off, a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist, only to disappear into the white vastness.

 

Exceptional prose meets nonstop action in this spellbinding standalone by Arnaldur Indridason, who is critically acclaimed around the globe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Near the outset of this kinetic thriller from Indridason (Jar City), Kristín, a lawyer with the Iceland Foreign Ministry in Reykjavík, receives a phone call from her younger brother, Elías, who tells her he's part of a team on its way to the remote Vatnajökull glacier. Almost immediately, Kristín finds herself being pursued by assassins tied to a covert American military operation to retrieve the wreckage of a German plane that crashed on the glacier in the closing days of WWII with, oddly, German and U.S. servicemen aboard. Dismissing official disinformation about the mission's purpose, Kristín flings herself into the thick of a black ops caper to uncover a secret so unsavory that the American military would kill to keep it quiet. Indridason takes an invigoratingly fresh approach to one of the best known conspiracy theories about Nazi and American relations. The cliché-riddled translation won't stop readers from racing to learn the final secret. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Outstanding Praise for Arnaldur Indridason

“As thrillers go, Operation Napoleon is about the best you can get.”

Telegraph-Journal (UK)

“Arnaldur Indridason is already an international literary phenom—-and it's easy to see why. His novels are gripping, authentic, haunting and lyrical. I can't wait for the next.”

—-Harlan Coben

“A commanding new voice . . . puts Iceland on the map as a major destination for enthusiasts of Nordic crime fiction.”

 —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review, on Silence of the Grave

“Indridason keeps readers guessing until the very last pages.”

Washington Post Book World on The Draining Lake

“Indridason fills the void that remains after you've read Stieg Larsson's novels.”

 —USA Today

“Every one of these writers is good [Hakan Nesser, Kjell Eriksson, Ake Edwardson, Helene Tursten, Karin Fossum], but in my book, Arnaldur Indridason is even better.”

 —Joe Queenen, Los Angeles Times

"The market and appetite for [Steig Larsson's books] seems to be unappeasable, as does the demand for…the stories of Arnaldur Indridason."

—-Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair

"Mesmerizing... [An] enthralling narrative."

The Wall Street Journal on Voices

Library Journal
In the closing days of World War II, a German bomber crashes on a remote glacier in Iceland. Buried by a brutal snowstorm, it is lost from view but not from the troubled memories of the few who knew of its clandestine mission. Decades later, an Icelandic woman receives a garbled satellite phone call from her brother, an outdoorsman crossing the glacier by snowmobile. He mentions soldiers, guns, and men digging an airplane out of the ice…and then he disappears. Soon her own life is in danger, as powerful forces strive to keep a terrible secret hidden. Fans of Indriðason's popular and critically praised mysteries featuring Icelandic detective Erlendur will find that this title—first published in 1999 and only now translated into English—is a different style of book, more akin to the adventure tales of Clive Cussler or the historical-conspiracy thrillers of Dan Brown. The secrets-of-the-Nazis theme is a little timeworn, but the fast-paced action and dialog, smoothly translated into colloquial English, keep the reader hooked, and the dour Icelandic setting will appeal to fans of other Scandinavian thrillers. VERDICT Fans of Indriðason's detective stories may pick up this stand-alone thriller, but its greatest appeal will be to fans of international action, adventure, and intrigue.—Bradley A. Scott, Corpus Christi, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250003188
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 389,257
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

ARNALDUR INDRIDASON won the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Silence of the Grave and is the only author to win the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel two years in a row, for Jar City and Silence of the Grave. The film of Jar City, now available on DVD, was Iceland’s entry for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and the film of his next book, Silence of the Grave, is currently in production with the same director. He lives in Iceland.

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Read an Excerpt

Operation Napoleon

A Thriller
By Arnaldur Indridason

Picador

Copyright © 2012 Arnaldur Indridason
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781250003188

Operation Napoleon
1945A blizzard raged on the glacier.He could see nothing ahead, could barely make out the compass in his hand. He could not turn back even if he wanted to. There was nothing to go back to. The storm stung and lashed his face, hurling hard, cold flakes at him from every direction. Snow became encrusted in a thick layer on his clothes and with every step he sank to his knees. He had lost all sense of time and had no idea how long he had been walking. Still cloaked in the same impenetrable darkness as when he had begun his journey, he could not even tell whether it was day or night. All he knew was that he was on his last legs. He took a few steps at a time, rested, then carried on. A few steps. A rest. A few more steps. A rest. A step. Rest. Step.He had escaped almost unscathed from the crash, though others had not been so lucky. In an eruption of noise, the plane had skimmed the surface of the glacier. One of its engines burst into flame, then vanished abruptly as the entire wing sheared off and whirled away into the snow-filled darkness. Almost immediately the other wing was torn away in a shower of sparks, and the wingless fuselage went careering across the ice like a torpedo.He, the pilot and three others had been belted into their seats when the plane went down but two of the passengers had been gripped with hysteria at the first sign of trouble, leaping up andtrying to break into the cockpit in their panic. The impact sent them ricocheting like bullets off the sides of the cabin. He had ducked, watching them slam into the ceiling and bounce off the walls, before being catapulted past him and landing at the back of the plane where their cries were silenced.The wreckage ploughed across the glacier, sending up clouds of snow and ice until it gradually lost momentum and ground to a halt. Then there was no sound but the howling of the storm.Alone of the passengers, he was determined to brave the blizzard and make for civilisation. The others recommended waiting, in the hope that the storm would blow itself out. They thought everyone should stick together, but he was not to be stopped. He did not want to suffer being trapped in the plane; could not endure it becoming his coffin. With their help he wrapped himself up as well as possible for the journey, but he had not walked far in the relentless conditions before he realised he would have been better off inside the plane with the others. Now it was too late.He tried to head south-east. For a split second before the bomber crashed he had glimpsed lights, as if from houses, and now he headed off in what he believed to be the right direction. He was chilled through and his footsteps grew heavier and heavier. If anything, the storm seemed to be growing more intense. He battled on, his strength failing with every step.His thoughts turned to the plight of the others who had remained behind in the aircraft. When he had left them the snow had already begun to drift over the wreckage, and the scar left by its progress across the ice was filling up fast. They had oil lamps but the oil would not last long, and the cold on the glacier was unimaginable. If they kept the door of the plane open, the cabin would fill with snow. They were probably already trapped inside. They knew they would freeze to death whether they stayed in the aircraft or venturedout on to the ice. They had discussed the limited options. He had told them he could not sit still and wait for death.The chain rattled. The briefcase was weighing him down. It was handcuffed to his wrist. He no longer held the handle but let the case drag on its chain. The handcuff chafed his wrist but he did not care. He was past caring. 
They heard it long before it swooped over them, heading west. Heard it approaching through the screaming of the storm, but when they looked up there was nothing to be seen but winter darkness and stinging, wind-driven flakes. It was just before eleven at night. A plane, was their immediate thought. War had brought a fair amount of air traffic to the area as the British had a base in Hornafjördur, so they knew most of the British and American aircraft by the sound of their engines. But they had never heard anything like this before. And never before had the roar been so close, as if the plane were diving straight for their farm.They went out on to the front step and stood there for some time until the roar of the engines reached its height. With their hands over their ears they followed the sound towards the glacier. For a split second its dark body could be glimpsed overhead, then it vanished again into the blackness. Its nose up, it looked to be trying to gain height. The roar gradually receded in the direction of the glacier, before finally dying away. They both had the same thought. The plane was going to crash. It was too low. Visibility was zero in the appalling weather and the glacier would claim the plane in a matter of minutes. Even if it managed to gain a little height, it would be too late. The ice cap was too close.They remained standing on the step for several minutes after the noise had died away, peering through the blizzard and straining to listen. Not a sound. They went back inside. They could not alertthe authorities to the course of the plane as the telephone had been out of order since the lines came down in another storm. There had not been time to reconnect it. A familiar nuisance. Now a second blizzard had blown up, twice as bad. As they got ready for bed, they discussed trying to get through to Höfn in Hornafjördur on horseback to report the plane once the weather had died down.It was not until four days later that the conditions finally improved and they were able to set off for Höfn. The drifts were deep, making their progress slow. They were brothers and lived alone on the farm; their parents were dead and neither of them had married. They stopped to rest at a couple of farms on the way, spending the night at the second, where they related the story of the plane and their fear that it had almost certainly perished. None of the other farmers had heard anything.When the brothers reached Höfn they reported the aircraft to the district official, who immediately contacted the Reykjavík authorities and informed them that a plane had been seen south of the Vatnajökull glacier and had almost certainly crashed on the ice. All flights over Iceland and the North Atlantic were monitored by air traffic control at the US army base in Reykjavík, but they had been unaware of any aircraft in the area at the time - the conditions had meant traffic had been at a minimum.Later that day a telegram from the US military headquarters arrived at the office of the Höfn district official. The army would immediately take over investigation of the case and see to it that a rescue party was sent to the glacier. As far as the locals were concerned, the case was closed. Furthermore, the army banned all traffic on the glacier in the area where the plane was believed to have gone down. No explanations were offered.Four days later, twelve military transport vehicles rumbled into Höfn with two hundred soldiers on board. They had not been ableto use the airstrip in Hornafjördur, as it was closed during the darkest winter months, and Höfn was cut off from the capital to the west by the unbridged rivers of the Skeidará sands. The expedition force had had to circumnavigate the country in six-wheeled vehicles equipped with snow-chains, driving first north, then south along the East Fjords to reach Höfn. The journey north had been arduous, as the main road was little more than a dirt track, and the expedition had been forced to dig their way through heavy drifts all the way across the eastern desert of Mödrudalsöraefi.The troops were soldiers of the 10th Infantry Regiment and 46th Field Artillery Battalion under General Charles H. Bonesteel, commander of the US occupying force. Some of the men had taken part in the army's winter exercises on the Eiríksjökull glacier the previous year, but in practice few of them could even ski.The expedition was led by one Colonel Miller. His men pitched camp just outside Höfn in barracks built by the British occupation force at the beginning of the war, from where they made their way to the glacier. By the time the soldiers arrived at the brothers' farm, almost ten days had elapsed since they had heard the plane, days in which it had snowed without respite. The soldiers set up their base at the farm and the brothers agreed to act as their guides on the ice cap. They spoke no English but with a combination of gestures and sign language were able to show Miller and his men the direction of the plane, warning that there was little chance of finding it on or near the glacier in the depths of winter.'Vatnajökull is the biggest glacier in Europe,' they said, shaking their heads. 'It's like looking for a needle in a haystack.' It did not help that the snow would have obliterated all signs of a crash-landing.Colonel Miller understood their gestures but ignored them. Despite the heavy going, there was a passable route to the glacier from the brothers' farm and in the circumstances the operation wentsmoothly. During the short winter days, when the sun was up only from eleven in the morning until half past five, there was little time for searching. Colonel Miller kept his men well in order, though the brothers quickly discovered that most of them had never set foot on a glacier and had scant experience of winter expeditions. They guided the soldiers safely past crevasses and gullies, and the men set up camp in a depression at the edge of the glacier, about 1,100 metres above sea level.Miller's troops spent three weeks combing the slopes of the glacier and a five square kilometre area of the ice cap itself. For most of the time the soldiers were lucky with the weather and coordinated their searches well. They divided their efforts, one group searching in the foothills from a camp set up near the farm, while the other group camped on the glacier and scoured the ice for as long as daylight lasted. When darkness fell in the afternoon, the soldiers assembled back at the farm base camp where they ate, slept and sang songs familiar to the brothers from the radio. They slept in British-issue mountaineering tents, sewn from double layers of silk, and huddled for warmth around primuses and oil lamps. Their heavy leather coats reached below the knee and had fur-lined hoods. On their hands they wore thick, coarsely knitted gloves of Icelandic wool.No sign of the aircraft was found on this first expedition apart from the rim of the tail wheel, of which Colonel Miller immediately took charge. It was the brothers who made the discovery, about two kilometres on to the ice cap. Beyond this fragment, the ice was smooth in every direction and there was no evidence that an aircraft had crashed or made a forced landing there. The brothers said that if the plane had gone down on that part of the ice cap, the snow had probably drifted over the wreckage already. The glacier had swallowed it up.Colonel Miller was like a man possessed in his search for the plane. He appeared to feel no tiredness and won the admiration ofthe brothers, who treated him with a mixture of affection and respect and were eager to do anything for him. Miller consulted them a great deal for their local knowledge and they came to be on friendly terms. But eventually, after the expedition had twice been hampered by severe weather on the ice, the colonel was forced to abandon his search. In the second storm, tents and other equipment were buried in snow and lost for good.There were two aspects of the expedition that puzzled the brothers.One day they came upon Miller alone in the stable block, which adjoined the barn and cowshed, taking him by surprise as he stood by one of the horses in its stall, stroking its head. The colonel, whose courage and authority over his men was striking, had to all appearances taken himself quietly to one side to weep. He cradled the horse's head and they saw how his shoulders shook. When one of them cleared his throat, Miller started and glanced their way. They saw the tracks of tears on his dirty cheeks, but the colonel was quick to recover, drying his face and pretending nothing had happened. The brothers had often discussed Miller. They never asked him how old he was but guessed he could be no more than twenty-five.'This is a handsome animal,' Miller said in his own language. The brothers did not understand him. He's probably homesick, they thought. But the incident stayed in their minds.The other matter which aroused the brothers' interest was the wheel itself. They had had time to examine it before Colonel Miller found them and confiscated it. The tyre had been wrenched off the wheel so only the naked rim hung from the broken landing gear. For a long time afterwards they wondered about the fact that the wheel rim was inscribed with lettering in a language they understood even less than English.KRUPPSTAHL.1CONTROL ROOM, BUILDING 312, WASHINGTON DC, WEDNESDAY 27 JANUARY 
The building stood not far from the Capitol in Washington DC. Originally a warehouse, it had undergone an elaborate conversion to house one of the capital's many clandestine organisations. No cost had been spared in the conversion, either inside or out. Now, giant computers hummed day and night, receiving information relayed from space. Satellite photographs belonging to the US military intelligence service were collected in a database, and there the information was processed, analysed and catalogued, and the alert raised if anything irregular came to light.In official documents the warehouse was known simply as Building 312, but the organisation it housed had played a fundamental role in the US army's defence programme during the Cold War. Established shortly after 1960 during the most intense period of mutual suspicion, its chief role had been to analyse spyphotographs taken of the Soviet Union, China and Cuba, and any other nations classed as enemies of the United States. After the end of the Cold War, its role included monitoring terrorist bases in the Middle East and conflicts in the Balkans. The organisation controlled a total of eight satellites in orbits ranging from 800 to 1,500 kilometres above Earth.The director of the organisation was General Vytautas Carr, who stood now in front of a monitor which filled an entire wall of the first-floor control room, staring intently at a batch of images that had been drawn to his attention. It was cool in the room on account of the fans for the twelve powerful computer units which hummed ceaselessly in a cordoned-off section. Two armed guards stood at the doors. The room was intersected by four long banks of flickering screens and control panels.Carr was not far off his seventieth birthday and ought to have taken retirement but for a special dispensation by the organisation. He was almost six foot five, his back ramrod straight, unbowed with age. He had been a soldier all his life, had served in Korea, and directed and shaped the operations of the organisation as one of its most dynamic chiefs. He was dressed in civilian clothes, a double-breasted dark suit. The monitor on the wall in front of him was reflected in his glasses, behind which a pair of small, shrewd eyes were concentrating on the two screens at the top left.On one of the screens were images called up from the organisation's archives; these held tens of millions of satellite photographs taken over the last four decades. The other showed new pictures. The images Vytautas Carr was scrutinising were of a small section of south-east Iceland's Vatnajökull glacier, one taken about a year ago, the other earlier that day. The older image revealed nothing remarkable, just the pristine white expanse of the ice cap interruptedby the odd belt of crevasses, but in the new picture, down in the left-hand corner, a small mark was visible. The images were coarse and grainy but once touched up they would be sharp and clear. Carr requested a blow-up of the detail and the image magnified, then resolved itself until the black mark filled the entire screen.'Who do we have in Keflavík?' Carr asked the man at the control panel as he enlarged the images.'We don't have anyone in Keflavík, sir,' he replied.Carr considered this.'Get Ratoff for me,' he said, adding: 'This had better not be another false alarm.''We have better satellite equipment these days, sir,' the other man said, holding the phone.'We've never gotten such a clear picture of the glacier before. How many people know about the new images?''Only the rest of the eight watch, that's three people. Then you and me, of course.''Do they know the situation?''No, sir. They didn't show any interest in the pictures.''Keep it that way,' said Carr and left the room. He stalked down the long corridor to his office and shut the door behind him. A light was flashing on his telephone.'Ratoff on line two,' said a disembodied voice. Carr frowned and punched the button.'How long will it take for you to get to Keflavík?' Carr asked without preamble.'What's Keflavík, sir?' queried the voice on the phone.'Our base in Iceland,' answered Carr.'Iceland? I could be there tomorrow evening. Why, what's going on?''We've received a clear image of the biggest glacier in the country.It seems to be returning an object to us which we lost there many years ago and we need a man in Keflavík to direct the operation. You will take two special forces squadrons and choose your own equipment. Call it a routine exercise. Direct the locals to the defense secretary if they're uncooperative. I'll talk to him. I'll also call a meeting with the Icelandic government to offer an explanation. The military base is a sensitive issue in Iceland. Immanuel Wesson will take over our embassy in Reykjavík and act as spokesman. You'll receive more detailed instructions on the way.''I presume this is a covert operation, sir?''I wouldn't have called you otherwise.''Keflavík. I remember now. Wasn't there some wild goose chase there in '67?''We have better satellites these days.''Are the coordinates the same?''No. This is a new location. That damn glacier keeps moving,' said Carr and cut short the conversation without saying goodbye. He did not like Ratoff. He stood up, walked over to a large glass cabinet and opened the door, taking out two small keys which he turned over in his palm. One was slightly larger than the other but both were finely scaled, clearly designed for small keyholes. He put them back in the cabinet.It was many years since Carr had examined the wheel. He took it out now and weighed it in his hands. He reread the inscription: Kruppstahl. It, alone, had confirmed the crash-landing. Its make correlated with the type and size of the plane, its year of manufacture and capacity. This wheel was proof that it was up there on the glacier. After all these years it had at last been found.OPERATION NAPOLEON. Copyright © 1999 by Arnaldur Indriðason. English translation copyright © 2010 by Victoria Cribb. All rights reserved. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

Continues...

Excerpted from Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason Copyright © 2012 by Arnaldur Indridason. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2012

    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 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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    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 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

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Couldn't put it down!

    Held my interest from beginning to end. Well written. Fast moving. May be a little unbelievable at times but it is fiction after all and adds to the suspense.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Plane Down

    Long before there were Erlender and Sigurdur Oli, Arnaldur Indridason wrote this imaginative novel. In fact, it was copyrighted a decade ago, and only now has been published in Great Britain and Canada. [The next Reykjavic Murder Mystery, “Outrage,” was recently published in the UK) It is a pity we have had to wait this long for an English translation of this work, but all the more reason to be grateful that that has now been done.

    Just before the end of World War II a German bomber crashes on a large Icelandic glacier with American and German officers aboard. One of the senior German officers attempts to reach a nearby farm, while the others remain on the plane only to be buried by a blizzard and ice; then he disappears as well.

    Over 50 years later, after a few failed attempts to find the plane by U.S. intelligence, they are finally successful, and a secret mission is undertaken to remove the plane and its contents.. Coincidentally, two young Icelanders on the glacier in a training mission spot the Americans and are captured, one killed and the other seriously injured. Before the capture, one of the men had contacted his sister, Kristin. She undertakes to discover the truth of her brother’s fate, placing herself in danger in the process.

    The tense plot follows Kristin as she challenges the Americans in an effort to find out what happened to her brother, leading her on an arduous journey to learn the facts of Operation Napoleon. The descriptions of the various elements of the story are overwhelming: the freezing weather, the subterfuge of the Americans, the divergent views of Icelanders vis-à-vis relations with United States authorities, and other conflicts. Written with a sharpness to which we have become accustomed from this author, the novel is highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2012

    Indridason Is The Real Deal!

    I have read all of the Inspector Erlander books so I already knew I was going to like this exciting adventure novel, and you will too if you give it a chance. I read Indridason books without stopping (unless I need to gas up!). ENJOY!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great read and a new author

    This is a great thriller. It took me a couple of pages to get used to being in Iceland, and used to a few different terms for things, but once I got on the glacier and into the thriller, I was hooked. I loved the characters and the story. I will definitely look for another of his books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Quite Different

    Written over a decade ago but only recently translated into English 'Operation Napoleon' is quite different from what we have become accustomed to. Arnaldur Indridason has deviated from his usual sleuth detective hero mystery to write an imaginative standalone thriller telling a story that reaches back to World War 11.

    It begins in 1945 during the last months of the war when a German bomber on a clandestine mission is forced to crash- land on one of Iceland's largest glaciers. The plane and its passengers, senior American officers travelling with their German counterparts on a joint mission were quickly swallowed up by nature's harshest elements. They were missing but never really forgotten for many years.

    The action swiftly shifts to the United States in the year 1999. The military always kept vigilance on the location and in later years through high-tech satellite imagery. When changing ice conditions revealed traces of the plane, a covert team was immediate dispatched to the site to recover the plane and its hidden secrets.

    It so happens at the same time, groups of mountain rescuers are on a training mission and one of the teams, Elias and his friend, stumble across the wreckage guarded by armed US soldiers pointing guns at them. Suspicious of what they see, Elias immediately contacts his sister Kristin, a lawyer at the Icelandic foreign ministry, and manages to brief her before they are overwhelmed by the soldiers. The soldiers mandate under 'Operation Napoleon' is to maintain total secrecy at all cost. With the elimination of Elias and his friend they realise Kristin must also be silenced and the sooner the better '... The chase is on'.

    The story continues at a fast pace, Kristin realises American operatives are after her and fears for her life, her only solution is to outsmart and outwit them. She feels if the crash site and those dedicated to keep it a secret are made public knowledge, the world will question what they are hiding at all cost'.

    This thriller is highly captivating and exciting throughout; the action is a little farfetched at times but is nevertheless very well done. The theme is sharply written with depth rarely found in today's thrillers. I like the characterisation; the players are well-penned and have sufficient depth to be memorable, Kristin is especially well developed as a very resourceful heroine. Some may find the story portrays the Americans in a negative light but any thriller is based on two or more opposing sides and as we all know controversy can really stimulate one's mind and the sale of books, so I take it for what it is: an entertaining fiction that I thoroughly enjoyed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Napoleon is a rat

    No.... really! I have a pet rat named Napoleon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    entertaining summer read

    Interesting but I think I liked his regular police books better.

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  • Posted February 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Sensational! Conspiracy Theorists will love it!

    This book is an incredible action packed adventure. A german plane crashes in in Iceland towards the end of WWII. Flash forward to modern time and the mystery unravels as the plane is now visible on satellite. Why were soldiers from Germany and the US both on the plane? What were they transporting? A covert military team is deplored to ensure those answers are sealed forever.

    This book would make a great movie!

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  • Posted November 23, 2011

    Good Read

    I very much enjoyed reading this book. It was hard to put down.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    don't bother

    this book has events and actions being performed that are so implausible and unrealistic, that it made the book ridiculous, I don't expect total reality but this book was silly. I am sorry to write this because i have read every other book by this author and they were all great.This book was not.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great action, read it for the thrills

    I really enjoyed this book because of its' action sequences. There's quite a few chase scenes, several fighting scenes, and you can't leave out interrogations! so I flew through this book eagerly and thought it was pretty good. What I really thought was well done, was the translation job. Most books that have been translated have a tendency to be haphazard, and at times certain passages have to be read a few times over to get the gist of it. With this book there is no problem and the writing is clear, concise,and easily readable.

    I had a hard time trying to like Kristin. It's not that she's not likable she's just, there for the story I suppose. I guess the action is just so intense that you don't really care about characters and development so no attachment is formed to any characters in the book. It also bugged me a lot that her ex boyfriends are lying about for convenience. Really??? an ex boyfriend would lend you his car without asking what you're going to do??? how is that even possible with a main character that seems to have barely any feelings at all?? I understand how she came to rely on Steve, it looked as if he still had feelings for her. However with her other ex, it just felt like he (and his car) was conveniently there to get the plot going. It's a little too good to be true for me.

    The storyline is good, with enough suspense and action to get you going. The pace is actually quite quick and reading through the book will take no time at all. The main mystery and the 'what if' plot that's central to this entire novel is interesting. What was a little irritating was trying to figure out what it was. It was almost every time Kristin and Steve were getting closer to knowing the secrets, the characters they were questioning suddenly clammed up and refused to talk further. It was frustrating and I was almost tempted to skip the pages just to find out what the big secret was.

    Once it was revealed, and you got to the ending, it left you thinking; "Could it be possible?". I thought that was a perfect way to end the book! my mind was all dizzy with all that fast paced action, and yet it got me thinking as well. It certainly was an adrenaline rush with a great ending. Do pick this book up if you feel like an action packed book with a very curious 'what if' to certain points in history. (Those who are into the Second World War might enjoy this.)

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    Posted October 26, 2011

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