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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


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They Might Be Scum, But they were German Scum

All hail the review system. I am following a person with similar taste to mine, except he prefers espionage type books. He often gives glowing reviews on books he only gives four stars too. The fact that he gave this one five stars, told me it had to be special and it was.

I had read Sleep No More by Isles and though it was not up to the standard of this book, I knew he was an author I wanted to get to know. Then when this was offered in a 2fer sale and it was so highly recommended by my Espionage expert, I got it.

The actual story is made up, but many of the facts about WWII are correct. I love historical fiction and this falls into that category as well as a WWII story as well as an Adventure, as well as an Espionage story. It is important to reread history from different angels and get the real story. For instance did you know that over 25,000 Vets protested in Washington D.C. over there treatment after WW I and were attacked by our police? Are you aware that neither England or U.S.A. did anything to offer Sanctuary for the Jews before the war, while they were being persecuted by the Nazi's. Are you aware of how anti-Semitic, the English and the Americans were during this time.

The main character is a Pacifist, which was very rare during this time in our history and this made for some interesting debates. Isles has an afterwards that is very interesting, especially the part explaining the training camp at Loch Ness.

I have to say something about Dick Hill. Mr Hill has to be my favorite narrator. He has a distinctive voice such as Rudnicki and Lee and he is an excellent actor. His inflections, his intensity, his understanding of the material are above superb.Dick Hill always makes any book better.

I have one slight qualm and that is with the production. It only happens two or three times, but it is annoying when it happens. There are about three times when DH is whispering and you can not hear what he is saying and a couple of times where he is screaming and just about bursts your eardrums. I don't fault Hill, but the producer.

My Espionage reviewer from Washington and I also highly recommend, Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith.

37 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Really good WW II yarn

A top secret raid to stop the Nazis from producing a gas WMD, well-written and expertly narrated. Oh, one could quibble about a number of details, and there's the usual bang-bang-blow everything up ending, tailor-made for todays tired formula-driven movie scripts. I suspect the real Nazi SS were not quite as incompetent and they certainly did a far more effective job of running a concentration camp than depicted here. Still, be not afraid - this is a good story, made even better by Hill's reading and voices.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • CBDC
  • Washington, DC USA
  • 04-05-10

Feels real

While the afterward says BLACK CROSS is a work of fiction (and there are parts of it that clearly are), the depiction of abuse, of cruelty, and of random selection in the Nazi concentration camp central to this story feels real. Greg Iles' research into the reality and history that lie behind his novels and fictions is extraordinary. I learned things about the war and about myself. The book is not depressing, but powerful.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

everything needed for a great novel

This is a good book. It is well written, there is a great story built among the characters, the chemistry among the characters is fantastic, the sub plots are as exciting as the main event, the history is spot on, the narration is spectacular - the various accents are so good you can hardly believe that one person is doing all the reading. The story builds to a great climax wherein the ending is never certain and the finish is well accomplished. I would say without hesitation this is a strongly reccomeded read.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book paired with an excellent narrator

This is the first book from Greg Iles I have listened to. The story was well done, historical fiction is a favorite of mine if done well, i.e. The Company. Dick Hill did a great job in narration. Highly recommend, 5 star plus!

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Ron
  • Basehor, KS, United States
  • 05-08-12

Everything you want in WWII fiction.

I picked this up on sale for $4.95 so I thought it was great value for money. This had a good mixture of historical fact and fiction. There was just enough true events to give you the feel of what was going on in the time period. If you like historical fiction and the WWII period you won't go wrong with this.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marc
  • SOUTHINGTON, CT, United States
  • 11-16-09

A great war novel

I was held by this book, waiting to find out what happened next. I found it so good that I listened to it twice, I didn't want to miss any detail.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Black Cross

This book was one of the best books I have read in many years. Once in it, the emotions emparted would not let me stop listening. At the end, I realized that Greg Iles had to be at the top of my athurs and I want to buy more of his books as soon as possible.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • B.J.
  • Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 06-05-12

This is what a book is supposed to be.

This is a flawlessly written book with absolutely perfect narration - the kind that adds so much to the story and to the characters that it's hard to separate the two. It's tough subject matter, but Iles deals with it respectfully. While of course the characters have the advantage of fiction with its miraculous fixes, so much of what happens is based on history. The most difficult thing about finishing this book is that you don't know what to listen to next. Very few books can match the quality of writing and narration.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Craig
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 11-11-13

WWII Fiction Needs a Modicum Plausibility

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful