"A scorching read."--John Grisham
From the depths of World War II, a buried Nazi secret comes to terrifying life...
"An avalanche of action. . .an incredible web of intrigue."--Clive Cussler
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful: An Action-Packed Thriller With Too Many Pages!, September 22, 2003 Reviewer: ceruleana from New York, NY USA Greg Iles really packed the action into "Spandau Phoenix." I would have rated the book higher, but it is way too long and goes off on many unnecessary tangents. A tighter narrative would have made a more suspenseful, and enjoyable read. However, if you have the patience to hang-in through almost 700 pages, you may find this suspense thriller very worth while. Berlin's Spandau Prison, where WWII Nazi war criminals were kept, was the last residence of Rudolph Hess, Prisoner #7, and Hitler's one time second in command. Hess left Nazi Germany in 1941 and flew a plane to Great Britain. His reasons, or mission, for going to the UK were never revealed. Hitler publicly called Hess insane for making the flight and parachuting into enemy territory. When Hess supposedly committed suicide in his prison cell in 1987, he was Spandau's last occupant. The prison was then scheduled to be destroyed. As crowds gathered to watch the demolition of this famous building, Berlin police were assigned to maintain crown control. KGB agents diligently photographed the crowd for later identification by the East German Stasi. Among the observers was an Israeli agent. A German police captain, in charge of the contingent guarding the rubble, unexpectedly finds mysterious papers hidden in what was Hess' cell. The papers were all written in Latin, a language he does not understand, except for the first paragraph, which is in German. The paragraph interested the police officer enough for him to bring the papers home to his wife to translate. Thus begins a desperate and brutal quest by the Soviets, British, Americans, and an Israeli agent for the Spandau Diaries - a search which leaves many dead bodies in its wake. Was Rudolph Hess really Prisoner #7, or did he have a double? Did Hess have a political agenda when he parachuted into Great Britain or was he really insane? Were members of the British nobility involved in a subversive plot with Hess and Hitler? This novel involves Germans, Russians, Israelis, British, Americans, South Africans, and Libyans. Iles' extraordinary tale takes the reader on a terrifying adventure into the past, which leads to the chilling realities of the present, that could very well result in worldwide nuclear war. His action scenes are so well written that they are almost visual, and certainly bring this drama to life. The main characters are complex and well defined, individually and in their relationships to each other. The ending will have you on the edge of your seat. In spite of the book's unnecessary length, and a confusing narrative at the beginning, I do recommend "Spandau Phoenix" to fans of mystery-thrillers and espionage novels. Bottom line - great plot and characters overcome any flaws. JANA