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Publisher's Summary

The first rocket will take five minutes to hit London.

You have six minutes to stop the second.

From the best-selling author of Fatherland and Munich comes a WWII thriller about a German rocket engineer, a former actress turned British spy, and the Nazi rocket program.

Rudi Graf is an engineer who always dreamed of sending rockets to the moon. But instead, he finds himself working alongside Wernher von Braun, launching V2 rockets at London for the Nazis from a bleak seaside town in occupied Holland. As the SS increases its scrutiny on the project, Graf, an engineer more than a soldier, has to muster all of his willpower to toe the party line. And when rumors of a defector circulate through the German ranks, Graf becomes a prime suspect. 

Meanwhile, Kay Caton-Walsh, a young English intelligence officer, is living through the turmoil of war. After she and her lover, an RAF officer, are caught in a V2 attack, she volunteers to ship out for newly liberated Belgium. Armed with little more than a slide rule and a few equations, Kay and her colleagues hope to locate and destroy the launch sites. But at this stage in the war it’s hard to know who, if anyone, she can trust. 

As the death toll soars, these twin stories play out against the background of the German missile campaign during the Second World War. And what the listener comes to understand is that Kay’s and Graf’s destinies are on a collision course 

©2020 Robert Harris (P)2020 Random House Audio

What listeners say about V2

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Ho-Hum

Could have been a decent book but it lacks suspense and character development. After a few chapters you don't care if they all get blown up. In spite of the marketing blurb, little new information on the V-2 is revealed beyond what can be found on Wikipedia and other web sources. The author seems undecided whether to write a historical novel or a non-fiction documentary and story falls lifeless between the two. The ending is rushed and unsatisfactory. In reality there was considerable more intrigue involved with the allies' capture of Von Braun and all the V-2 hardware and data than indicated in the book. As explained in the afterword, the novel was written in COVID-19 isolation, which apparently also applied to any meaningful interface between author and editor.

4 people found this helpful

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Harris delivers again

Robert Harris is one of the best historical fiction writers today and he delivers again. The twin stories of the German scientist and the British WAC officer is nuanced and gripping. Though we know how this story ends, Harris never rushes and keeps the characters real. His portrayal of VonBraun is delicious.

2 people found this helpful

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Good story, great narration

David Rintoul's narration is so excellent he can make a bad story pretty good. But this is a good story that Rintoul makes into a great audio book. I just wish it were a little longer.

2 people found this helpful

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On of Harris’s best

A great “listen”. Keeps you in the car, listening, after you’ve gotten to where you’re going.

1 person found this helpful

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Not Harris's best

This is not Harris at his best. The plot is threadbare with a phony contrived ending. The facts about the V2 are interesting but the story is pure formula -- and not a very good one at that..

1 person found this helpful

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Intriguing and Compelling

Robert Harris' brilliant story draws you into the world of the German V2 project and the lives of two people on opposite sides of the War, whose destinies become intertwined. I finished this in one day because I could not stop listening/reading. An absolute page turner. David Rintoul's performance of this story was masterful.

1 person found this helpful

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Good recounting.

Not as good as his other nazi based stories but still a good insight into the ticket V2 program on both sides. If you like his style (and the rather dead pan reader oh so very British style - “ blighter” etc) then you’ll like thus book. Fatherland is way better though. And an officer and a spy.

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Historic Fiction At Its Best!

In my opinion, historic fiction is at its best when the listener/reader is motivated to go beyond the book and track down the actual history that the book is based upon. ``V-2" is such a book. During the course of listening and reading ``V-2,'' I would research the history and personalities that the book is based on. Of course, I was aware of the V-2 attacks on London, but I had no idea when the German research on rockets began (late 1920's). The book also serves as a reminder of what and who the origins of U.S. space program of the 1960's depended upon.
Yes, the author, Robert Harris, has written an engaging and suspenseful novel set during WW 2, but ``V-2'' becomes more than a novel in that it explores a part of the war that is little known.
The reader is excellent and the time period is captured in the excellent novel.
I look forward to the authors next works.

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Another great book by Robert Harris

I was surprised I liked this so much considering I'm not into bombs, but as usual Robert Harris makes things interesting. Also it didn't hurt that David Rintoul is a very good narrator.

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War is Never a Bore, This Book Gets a High Score

I was thoroughly enthralled with this story, and I must say clearly awakened to the role.of the V2 rocket in a way I didn't expect prior to this excellent work. The science and mechanics of the V2 program are integral enough to this narrative to appease the want of those details while used as an excellent thread to bind the bifricated narratives that run parralell in the book. As a History teacher bi likewise find the clear time demarcations valuable, drawn with an exactness rare to such fictional works.