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Publisher's Summary

During one of history's darkest chapters, one man is determined to make a difference.

In the tradition of Schindler's List comes a thrilling novel based on the heroic true story of Fritz Kolbe, a widowed civil servant in Adolf Hitler's foreign ministry. Recognizing that millions of lives are at stake, Kolbe uses his position to pass information to the Americans - risking himself and the people he holds most dear - and embarks on a dangerous double life as the Allies' most important spy.

Summoned from his South African post to return to Nazi Germany, Kolbe leaves behind his beloved fourteen-year-old daughter, a decision made for her safety that nonetheless torments him. And as he lives under the constant threat of arrest, he wrestles with the guilt of putting Marlene Wiese, a married nurse and the love of his life, in danger as they collaborate on Kolbe's clandestine work.

But no matter the personal cost, Kolbe will not be deterred. In scenes that pulse with suspense, he emerges as a towering figure who risked everything to save innocent lives - and Germany from itself.

©2015 Andreas Kollender (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2017 Steve Anderson

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    338
  • 4 Stars
    245
  • 3 Stars
    109
  • 2 Stars
    28
  • 1 Stars
    16

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    384
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    192
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    69
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    14
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    7

Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written and narrated WWII story of...

...spy Fritz Kolbe (AKA George Wood). Kolbe was an employee of the Germany Foreign Office in Berlin who was the most important spy for the allies in WWII. The story is fictionalized to a relatively small degree and it is dramatized with detail that is uncertain.

67 of 73 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting fictionalization

Spy stories are fascinating because they reflect how brave and useful a spy can be. Fritz Kolbe's story as a WWII spy for the Allies can never be fully verified because of the inherent nature of secrecy needed to become a successful spy. The book shows the more human side of Kolbe with the inclusion of Kolbes love for his daughter and paramour. Well written and encourages further reading about other unsung WWII heroes.

64 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

To much Marlena

I wanted a book about the spying. A little love story in the mix is not bad but this is a love story about a spy.

55 of 64 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not worth it

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I've now done some reading about the real Fritz Kolbe and his story is fascinating. Somehow Kollender gets mired in the telling and it became very tedious listening. I'm an avid audio book listener and for one of the very few times in years I did not finish novel.

Would you ever listen to anything by Andreas Kollender and Steve Anderson - translator again?

No.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

He was fine. The problem is in the story/writing.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Story is based on a very interesting man about whom I had no idea.

55 of 64 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Dull first book I did not listen until end

Maybe the translation is the problem but whatever it is you just don't care about his honest spy who leaves his daughter to return to Nazi Germany and work for the Reich. Eventually he steals confidential papers and provides to Allies but at that point the whole narrative was snooze fest. Returning this one

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow, what a read.<br />

My goodness. I have not been this captivated by a story in a very long time. More... More... Give me more .

28 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Well written. An amazing story. I highly recommend this book.
You feel like you are a part of history reading it

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very compelling

I was drawn right into this in a way that doesn't always happen, but is always enjoyable. It looks like some of the events of his life were streamlined or left out, which is inevitable, but it made it a very good story, so it was worth it. You live with the characters and have a very vivid sense of what it was like to be in Berlin during the war. I see there is a more comprehensive biography of his life, A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich, but this one stands alone as a non-fiction book with the intensity of a good spy novel.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WWII info. Awesome ! Engaging story.

This is a wonderful story for a road trip, pay attention. There a lot of details.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

incredible story

what an incredible book and story, especially when you consider that it is true. well written and translated.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Fittpar
  • 02-11-18

Story so unreal

The story is so unlikely that I could not finish the book.
It portrays the Germans as totally unaware of what was going on so obviously right in front of them. A spy so stupid and could not keep a secret to save his life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nike
  • 11-23-17

Very interesting story

Makes a change from the usual le Care. But intriguing construct of how an insider diplomat could have helped the war effort. Quite exciting throughout. Thanks.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer2
  • 06-19-18

Interesting but not easy listening

I did struggle to finish the book. I wanted to know more about Fritz, yet found a lot of names and order of events confusing. It may be because its a translation that the book is less 'readable', I don't know.
The cursing was uneccesary and annoying.