Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bookish: Spandau Phoenix

Yet another Greg Iles novel. This is a different one, a historical conspiracy thriller involving a WWII mystery. I had some problems with this. First, I made the mistake of taking this book on my beach vacation. This is not a beach read, and I found it hard to concentrate on it. It's a little heavy. The second problem: I know the basics of WWII, but I am by no means an expert. I know Hitler, Himmler, the Holocaust, Auchwitz, etc., but I was not familiar with Spandau or Rudolph Hess, which is some pretty important information for understanding this book. So, I didn't really know how much was fact and how much was fiction. I found it very annoying that there was not even a historical note at the end elucidating this information. So, the book is well-written and interesting, based on the idea that Hess's flight to Great Britan had greater implications than perhaps first realized and that the prisoner locked up in Spandau Prison was never Rudolph Hess, but rather an imposter. The main meat of the book is set in Germany and South Africa long after WWII, but before the destruction on the Berlin Wall. It involves Nazis, atomic bombs, secret identities, and secret societies. I think WWII buffs would get more enjoyment out of it than I did, but not a bad read overall. I didn't enjoy it as much as Iles's modern-day Southern thrillers, though.

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