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Publisher's Summary

It is January 1944 - and as Allied troops prepare for D day, Nazi scientists develop a toxic nerve gas that will repel and wipe out any invasion force.

To salvage the planned assault, two vastly different but equally determined men are sent to infiltrate the secret concentration camp where the poison gas is being perfected on human subjects. Their only objective: destroy all traces of the gas and the men who created it - no matter how many lives may be lost...including their own.

©1995 Greg Iles; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This stunning, horrifying, mesmerizing novel will keep readers transfixed from beginning to end....From the very first page, Greg Iles takes his readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride, juxtaposing tension-filled action scenes, horrifying depictions of savage cruelty, and heart-stopping descriptions of sacrifice and bravery. A remarkable story from a remarkable writer." (Booklist)
"A thriller that really thrills...on fire with suspense." (Stephen King)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    758
  • 4 Stars
    517
  • 3 Stars
    193
  • 2 Stars
    55
  • 1 Stars
    30

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    682
  • 4 Stars
    307
  • 3 Stars
    119
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    20

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    597
  • 4 Stars
    353
  • 3 Stars
    141
  • 2 Stars
    36
  • 1 Stars
    19
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good Story, Brilliant Performance by Narrator

I didn't give this one 5 stars, not because the writing was flawed, but because it was just so intense and brutal in the descriptions of what happened to Jews and others in concentration camps and on the battlefield. It certainly is a book that will stay with me for awhile, but it's not a pleasant memory. War isn't pretty, but this was a little much for me.

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  • Story

Narration Ruined Story

This was a great novel that was adversely affected by flawed narration, to the point where I wanted to give up listening to it--I only stuck it out because the story was compelling. The narrator went from whispering and talking too softly to nearly shouting, and I had to spend so much time adjusting the volume that I was constantly knocked out of the book.

Perhaps this was a function of me listening to it during my daily commute, but I've listened to many books during this commute and this is the only one I've had this problem with.

But to be fair to the narrator, aside from volume level, he did a very good job with tone, voice differences, etc.

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Must Read

What did you love best about Black Cross?

The story grabs you and you cannot put the book (or IPad) down.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot was perfectly set to keep you wanting to read the next paragraph.

What about Dick Hill’s performance did you like?

very well performed.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Too many to mention

Any additional comments?

Best Greg Iles book period.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Everett
  • CAMARILLO, CA, United States
  • 05-25-13

Seems as if it could have happened

If you could sum up Black Cross in three words, what would they be?

A good listen

What was one of the most memorable moments of Black Cross?

The closing chapters

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

So believable that it must have truly happened. One of the turning events of the war.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Stop Hitler's use of poison gas

Would you try another book from Greg Iles and/or Dick Hill?

Why didn't Hitler's Nazi Germany use poison gas to stop the Allies? It's a good question but Greg Iles has made a disappointing novel from that fine start.The characters are poorly drawn with stereo types galore including a pacifist American nerve gas expert, a Zionist fighter, an eye-patch wearing soldier, etc., etc. Plot situations are developed with disaster following disaster following coincidence around a really complicated attack on a slave labor camp producing gas deep in Germany.
As a student of World War two, there was little to like; as a lover of action novels, there was even less to enjoy here.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I am really enjoying Connely's Harry Bosch detective series. It's writing and performance is very evocative. Now on book four and there are plenty more.

How could the performance have been better?

The Deep South accent of the main character sometimes had me almost siding with the Nazis.

What character would you cut from Black Cross?

The pacifist American nerve gas expert, the Zionist, the eye-patch wearing German officer, etc., etc.

Any additional comments?

Don't buy this listen. There are far better choices out there.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Brian
  • Leawood, KS, United States
  • 04-20-13

Good but not outstanding

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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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Trista
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 03-28-13

WW II

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I might have made some of the names a bit easier to differentiate. Some of the German names sounded too much alike and I was having a hard time following some of the characters. Maybe it's just me.

What other book might you compare Black Cross to and why?

I don't know.

Which character – as performed by Dick Hill – was your favorite?

Dick Hill does an excellent job.

Did Black Cross inspire you to do anything?

Learn more about the Jewish people. I don't think when I was in school that we were taught about all the atrocities that they suffered.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Pleasant Surprise

Where does Black Cross rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

hmmmm.... not sure where it ranks. It is a bit different from what I normally read or listen to, but I really did enjoy it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Rachel. She was so strong and so humble.

What about Dick Hill’s performance did you like?

Nothing I can pinpoint. Was just a pleasure to listen to.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Life can make you change your beliefs.

Any additional comments?

I have always been fascinated by this time in history. This book gave such an intimate look at what it might of been like and the decision that had to be made. It shows strength, courgage, love and hope in the face of such horrible oppression. In real life I would of loved to of had people in my life like some of these characters.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Great Book!

What did you love best about Black Cross?

Characters are Great!

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes... great WW2 story.

What does Dick Hill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator is very effective.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I had a hard time putting it down.

Any additional comments?

Great story!

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  • Story

One of the Better Historical Fiction Reads

I've had some trouble lately getting into historical fiction. Most of what I've tried just didn't maintain my interest. Just when I thought I'd given up on historical fiction, I found "Black Cross." Now my mind has changed.

My main interest in history currently is WW2, so this book caught my attention. I have to say that it kept my interest throughout the whole book, and was quite suspenseful. The narrator did a great job with the accents and style of storytelling.

The main problem I had with the story was that some of the characters had similar sounding names. For instance, a main character is "Stern" and the another is "Schtern" or that's how it sounded. Then, ANOTHER character is named "Schurner" or "Scherner." You get what I'm saying. Although it didn't take long to differentiate who was who, I figured the author would make it a little easier for the listener (reader) to tell characters apart.

Other than the small problem I had referenced above, the book is definitely worth trying out. Especially if you're just trying out historical fiction and like WW2. I'd say yes, give it a shot.