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Spandau Phoenix

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Overview

The Spandau Diary—what was in it? Why did the secret intelligence agencies of every major power want it? Why was a brave and beautiful woman kidnapped and sexually tormented to get it? Why did a chain of deception and violent death lash out across the globe, from survivors of the Nazi past to warriors in the new conflict now about to explode? Why did the world's entire history of World War II have to be rewritten as the future hung over a nightmare abyss?

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Spandau Phoenix: A Novel

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Overview

The Spandau Diary—what was in it? Why did the secret intelligence agencies of every major power want it? Why was a brave and beautiful woman kidnapped and sexually tormented to get it? Why did a chain of deception and violent death lash out across the globe, from survivors of the Nazi past to warriors in the new conflict now about to explode? Why did the world's entire history of World War II have to be rewritten as the future hung over a nightmare abyss?

In an adventure- and suspense-filled novel, Iles answers the greatest remaining mystery of World War II in a lightning-fast tale that ranks with the works of Follett and Ludlum. Amongst the rubble of Spandau Prison, the diary of enigmatic Nazi Rudolph Hess is found, and the secrets it reveals plunge the world into chaos.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Put Nazis in a thriller and you've got me almost every time. Spandau Phoenix is one of my favorites to star those swastika-wearing scumbags. The fascinating thing about this book, it focuses on a real-life occurrence -- one of WWII's greatest mysteries in fact. Why did Rudolf Hess, Hitler's right-hand man, embark on a daring solo flight to England? Intense excitement laced with historical intrigue at its best.

--Andrew LeCount

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Stock characters and melodramatic plotting mar this first novel, which posits a Rudolf Hess impostor imprisoned in Spandau while the real Nazi remains free, working from a secret South African stronghold to keep Hitler's legacy alive. In 1987, soon after the fake Hess dies in his jail cell, 27-year-old German police sergeant Hans Apfel accidentally discovers a sheaf of yellow documents amid the rubble of the recently demolished Spandau prison. Hans takes the mysterious papers to his wife Ilse who, with her father, a history professor, translates the Spandau Papers, as they come to be known, from their original Latin. What they uncover is a plot begun in 1941 involving Hitler, Hess, his SS-trained double and Nazi sympathizers in the House of Parliament, to kill Churchill and replace him with the appeasing Duke of Windsor. When word of the existence of the papers--which may indicate a present-day neo-Nazi/South African plan to annihilate Israel--gets out, KGB agents, the East German secret police and a rogue Mossad agent race to locate them. Though clearly written, with some entertaining speculation, this effort is overwhelmed by cliches. Author tour. May
Library Journal
Rudolph Hess--Spandau prisoner number 7--dies in 1987. When a secret ``Hess diary'' is found at Spandau by a West German policeman, the various police and intelligence agencies stationed in Berlin become even more interested in Hess's 1941 flight to England. Did Hess have highly placed contacts there? Was he alone? Was his well-trained double captured instead? The chain reaction from the diary's discovery explodes around West Germany, England, and South Africa, uncovering secret alliances and double agents. This first novel, which attempts to fill in history's blanks and to tie the past with the present, has action, characters, and violence to spare. But the body count is high, even for this genre, and the novel loses its impact long before the end of the drawn-out plot. An optional purchase for large popular fiction collections.-- V. Louise Saylor, Eastern Washington Univ. Lib., Cheney
Mary Ellen Quinn
In the year 1987, following the apparent suicide of Rudolph Hess--notorious prisoner number seven--Spandau Prison is being demolished. Hans Apfel, a young West Berlin police sergeant, finds some sheets of onionskin in the rubble and takes them home. His wife, Ilse, hands them over to her grandfather, Professor Natterman, a historian who is interested in the mystery surrounding Hess' flight to Great Britain in 1941. These actions set in motion a series of international incidents, intelligence maneuvers, and murders. Dieter Hauer, a police captain and counterterrorist specialist who is also Hans' father, recognizes the hand of Phoenix, a secret neo-Nazi brotherhood. Ilse is kidnapped and taken to the South African estate of Alfred Horn, head of a multinational corporation called Phoenix AG. Horn demands the Spandau papers in return for Ilse's release. Hans, Dieter, Professor Natterman, an elderly Israeli named Jonas Stern, a German detective, a KGB agent, an assassin working for British intelligence, and a group of Israeli commandos converge on Horn's estate for the violent climax. Despite his plodding style and predictable outcome, first novelist Iles does a creditable job of managing his large cast of characters and maintaining suspense.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451179807
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 704
  • Sales rank: 119,542
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 1.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Iles
Greg Iles was born in 1960 in Germany. He founded the band Frankly Scarlet, plays guitar for the Rock Bottom Remainders, and is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Blood Memory and 24 Hours. He lives in Natchez, Mississippi.

Biography

Greg Iles has led a sort of double life as a novelist. His first books, based on extrapolations from real events in World War II, earned him an initial following, but his very modern crime novels are what currently hold his -- and his readers' -- focus. His tight pacing and chilling, innovative concepts have made him especially attractive to Hollywood, which has optioned and/or expressed interest in several of his books.

Iles's first novel, Spandau Phoenix, was about the secret escape of a Nazi soldier and the chilling plot related in his discovered diaries. It was a mixed success critically, earning praise for its premise but low marks on style. Since then, Iles has clearly developed as a novelist, and branched out in themes too.

With his second novel, Black Cross, Iles displayed more of a voice and more streamlined plotting in his story of a conspiracy to use the Nazi's own weapons against them. Those first two titles did become bestsellers; but by the time Iles shifted gears to write crime thrillers set in his native Mississippi, he found himself getting even more attention -- and better reviews. His next two books, Mortal Fear and The Quiet Game, remain his personal favorites. Iles was born in Stuttgart, Germany, where his father was in charge of the medical clinic at the U.S. Embassy, in 1961. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983 and played guitar in a rock band for several years before trying his hand at writing novels.

Moving from screenplays to thrillers to speculative historical fiction, Iles continues to stretch as a writer. He also indulges his love for music (he once played guitar in the band Frankly Scarlet) by performing with the Rock Bottom Remainders, an author side project that includes writers Stephen King, Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, and Amy Tan

Good To Know

After graduation from college, Iles worked as an x-ray and lab technician for his father, dug ditches, and worked as a professional guitarist and singer.

Iles has the ability to be gloomily prophetic, but not intentionally. In an online chat in 1997, a fan pointed out that some real-life Internet-related murders had followed his Mortal Fear. Iles responded: "A lot of my books have been that way. My World War II thriller about Sarin gas [Black Cross] was published two months before the Sarin attack in the Japanese subway. There are very weird coincidences out there. And I do have one surefire plot I have not and probably never will write, because of my fear someone will carry it out."

Iles's wife is a high-school sweetheart whom he married when he was 29.

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    1. Hometown:
      Natchez, Mississippi
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Stuttgart, Germany
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Mississippi, 1983
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

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(16)

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(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2005

    Gripping till the end

    Any book on WWII interests me and this ranks among the best WWII stories that I have read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    Intriguing!!

    Different, informative, interesting, and one of the best books I've read. Greg Iles never lets me down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    KIRBY AND THE DARK PHOENIX TRIVIA!: CHAPTA 2 TRIVIA!

    Wanna know my secret for my awesome scene of action? Just put in there whatever comes to mind. No, seriously. I read enough books with at LEAST some action to get an idea how to make an action scene awesome. Also, the reason I gave Epic a spear because some Waddle Dees carry spears in the games. Even the Waddle Dee in Kirby's Return to Dreamland had a spear! Wow, that was short. Ok, Epicness out!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2013

    This is one of my favourite books. I've read it several times o

    This is one of my favourite books. I've read it several times over the years and now finally I can add it to my Nook. Thank you for making this novel available for ereaders.

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  • Posted April 3, 2010

    My Favorite

    I have always thought it funny that my favorite WWII novel was written by an author who does not specialize in this genre. Greg Iles is a great writer and he prooves it here. I have all his books and this is easily my favorite. In my opinion you don't even have to be a history buff or a fan of WWII novels to enjoy this book.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    My First Greg Iles Book

    I read this book several years ago and it was one I couldn't put down. I love intrigue and the WW2 era. Greg Iles kept me on the edge of my seat and blew me back in my easy chair with the ending. I didn't see it coming! This book is worthy of a second reading. Loved it.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    Best if you enjoy WWII history.

    I loved the book, but then I love WWII history. The story moves back and forth between the 1980's and the 1940's. At times it was a bit confusing trying to keep up with all the unfamiliar foreign agencies from the Nazi era, but that didn't detract from the story. I couldn't put it down. It's fact & fiction woven together to tell a thrilling story of what was and what might be. Greg Isles knows how to keep readers interested!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book was good, as are all of Ile's books. However, the same story could of been just as well told in 200 less pages. It was to long. I actually had to take a break from it and read something else before going back to finish it. Rather than being disappointed when it was over, I was relieved.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2007

    Outstanding!

    My friend turned me on to Greg Iles so I picked up 'Black Cross' which is good but this book blows BC out of the water. This book is right up there with Da Vinci Code and the Bourne series as far as i'm concerned. A real page turner indeed. I bet Dan Brown learned a trick or two from this book and Robert Ludlum may have read it as well. If you like to read about spy vs spy vs spy vs spy type novels, this is as good as it gets. I recommend you read 'Black Cross' first though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2005

    Awesome

    This book is great. Perfect for a film o a 2-season series TV show. I learned a lot of Nazi leaders and 2 World War. The only thing I dislike a little is that there are TOO MANY characters, but perhaps, thas was unavoidable. The plot is FULL of action and breath-taking scenes. I fully recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2003

    Excellent

    I would reccomend this book to anyone who has an intrest to World War 2 history. You WONT want to put this book down! So believable, its like stepping back into the past and reliving a secret. A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2002

    Awesome book

    this is a really great book.....The ending is obvious,but the rest of the book keeps you guessing right up till the end....Highly recomend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    Good Fictional Read Combined With Historical Intrigue

    One thing that I dislike about any book is when the author creates a storyline that makes your head spin and causes you to try to figure out how everything in the story ties together rather than concentrating on the current page. I have to admit that Iles through some of that into the story, however, the plot was original and there were plenty of times when he took the liberty to explain the relationship of the different elements of the story through the characters. Neeless to say, though complicated in some parts, the book had a very intriguing plot which peaked my interest and in the end everything fell nicely together.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2002

    hard to put down

    This book was truly gripping. This was Iles' first book, and after reading this one, I have made it a point to read everything he writes. The book was the perfect blend of history and fiction with plenty of plot twists and suspense. It definitely goes on my top 10 list!

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    Posted June 7, 2011

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    Posted June 12, 2010

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    Posted December 25, 2010

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2009

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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