I teach. I Listen. I trust your judgment as a fellow listener.
If you find yourself saying, "Why did they do that?" -- or asking the question, "Wouldn't that kill them?" -- then you are listening to Black Cross. Naturally we expect commando missions are fraught with danger, but this venture is so far-fetched and ill-conceived that it could only be a work of fiction (even if that is the genre). There was absolutely nothing about the events in this story that made me say, "Yep, that's real!" At one point I found myself wondering, "Why would they do that when one bombing mission would address the whole problem."
The storyline probably had it's origins in a book about bombing a very bad Nazi place but the author realized that "death from the air" lacks all the emotional drama of hideous medical experiments on humans. Racking up up some ghoulish points for the reviewers and editors may have lead to some the very poor rewriting decisions (all surmise on my part of course). Add to the horror a concentration camp romance and you have all the makings for kitsch writing in very poor taste.
I am not going to recommend this book to my fellow listeners. It plays our emotions intentionally (and cheaply). Concentration Camp stories are best left for the tellers of non-fiction or those fiction writers that have the capacity to explain the truly horrid without the need to interject cheap romance to gain our sympathies.
Stern and Brigadier Smith
Brigadier Smith . He knew what he had to get done
A moving tale , emotional and exciting . Love it
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
Iles spins a story which involves the reader enough to allow one to overlook its rather frequent improbabilities. This is a straight ahead "mission into enemy territory" story, well told and nicely paced so that we don't linger long enough to ask a lot of inconvenient questions. So it works. It also manages to ask some troubling old questions about how we calculate acceptable losses when we take up arms against evil. As a result, it has a nicely unsettling quality to it which somewhat compensates for its lapses in believability.
Dick Hill is a fine reader, but he is definitely more in his element with the Georgia accent of the central character than he is when he assays the various British voices in the book.
I am old enough to know about this time in history. And I have seen enough documentaries to make me sick at all of it. But it is still a part of our history!! It is not pretty, it is something that makes you still in this day and age to wonder about the black side of humanity. Greg Isles mostly does murder mysteries. This was written in 1995 and is incredibly awesome in the writing and I have to tell you that I would not have gotten the true emotions were it not for Dick Hill as narrator. I think that narrating this had to make him totally sad and emotional which is why it came across so incredible. I could never have gotten these emotions if it not were for Dick Hill as narrator. It is not something you will forget anytime soon. It does not matter if it was true or not, we all know that very many things like this happened. One cannot feel totally good at the end of a book so real as this but it is something we need to know about. I am humbled at this book.
I gave up about one third of the way through because the narrator's English accent sounded like Bela Lugosi. The story seems decent but it is slow getting started. Of course I can't say how well it is in total because I could not get past the dismal performance. Since it is a World War II period piece it is full of English accents. I know a lot of people like Dick Hill, so if you do I suspect you may like this book a great deal.
So engaging that you will catch yourself trying to warn the characters. I highly recommend Black Cross. It's a fantastic story on its own, but read as the companion follow story to Spandau Phoenix, the characters have depth they wouldn't otherwise.
Iles once again is an amazing storyteller and should be applauded for his impeccable attention to historical accuracy and detail. His books are like stepping back in time where no detail has been overlooked; whereas too many authors read as if we're taking a trip back with Bill and Ted. I have yet to be disappointed and look forward to my next adventure within the pages of one of Mr. Iles' books.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
Told as a series of long recollections of the exploits of two unconventional, and therefore unexpected and well-suited, black ops agents; this book is like a classic WWII movie. The story is exciting and feels so right that you will want it to be true. As a lover of history I found this to be a rousing adventure and so well produced that its scenes were playing in my mind’s eye like a matinee news reel all the while I was going about my daily routine. This is what I am always seeking in an audiobook.
Dick Hill has a great voice for WWII stories. I had recently listened to his rendition of BROTHERS IN BATTLE, BEST OF FRIENDS and was impressed at his ability to deliver distinct voices for two very similar personalities in that book. In BLACK CROSS he really gets to stretch his vocal cords; giving voice to a variety of characters, both male and female, and from a broad spectrum of dialects.
Thanks to all my fellow Audible book reviewers who took the time to recommend this book. Your altruistic efforts caused me to listen to this book and my life is more full and more enjoyable because of it.
only narrator that I've ever heard that the accents and change of voice timbre didn't feel awkward at least for a little while. absolutely phenomenal mastery of the many voices he brought to life. and a pleasure to listen to. as an example of this, how do you imitate a German imitating a southern drawl. Yeah. he can do that. and do it convincingly. oh yeah. there was also a story. which was fantastic. very few "yeah right" moments. characters aren't flawless annoying paragons of unrealistic virtue. which is nice. overall highly recommended.