Like many of the longer horror novels I've read, this one starts off deep and mysterious and ends up feeling kind of formula. I don't want to give anything away but there elements here that will seem familiar from other books and movies over the years. Then again, this is an older book so it all may have been fresh when written.
There are two narrators and I loved the females voice. The male did fine job, except for his version of the female black hero, which seemed whiny and overdone. This was no biggie at first, but after about 29 hours it started to kill the deal for me.
As others have pointed out there is plenty of racism in here. I smiled in several places at the total disregard for political correctness. Somehow the language worked for me as many of the foul and racist parts helped paint the characters. It was necessary and added something to the book.
My rating is high because of two points: I loved the creative way the bad guys used people, it was creative and really nasty. I loved the crazy old lady who is the major villain. The author did a beautiful job with her narration and I really felt 'inside' her head as she develops. My biggest misgiving about the book is the use of Nazi death camp experiences as a plot device in a horror novel. Because I knew the death camps were real and actually happened, they seemed to upstage any other concocted horror the author thought up. This really hit me at the end of the book, and it felt awkward to use such real tragedy in a 30 hour page turner where fictional character life was so cheap.
This author does a great job of placing you in the desert showing you what it was like. I was expecting a war story but got nice education on flies, desert terrain, and all sorts of weapons. The smooth part is that setting is more important than the characters and you never notice how much you're being taught. As a WW2 buff the book is satisfying down to the equipment and correct details. On the other hand this author seems to cut most of his characters out of the same cloth and the 'heros are jerks' theme my bug you. The Germans seem kind of stupid and the British seem kind of murderous. I loved the book because it brought the Africa theatre to life for me, and the desert raiding parts were outstanding. My only complaint would be all the minutes I had to listen to of the main German character doing his middle aged angst that never made a point. As a pilot and an aviation buff it can tell you that 'A Piece of Cake' has the better flying scenes. If you like WW2 stories that feel 'real', this is a good one.
It kept me interested and moved along just fine. About what you'd expect from a WW2 thriller, but nothing really amazing. As I think back on it after a few months, the part that stands out to me is the passion of the Jewish agent. I think he was the heart of the book and the authors best character.
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