The Hour of the Cat
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The Hour of the Cat (Fintan Dunne #1)

3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  26 reviews
On the eve of World War II, "just another little murder" in New York City draws two vastly different men - an American detective and a German admiral - into the Gathering Storm. Hour of the Cat is a stunning achievement: tautly suspenseful, huantingly memorable, and brilliantly authentic.
ebook, 448 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Overlook (first published May 20th 2005)
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Pete Loveday
Hour of the Cat
Peter Quinn
(Historical Detective)
The setting is both New York and Berlin in 1938.
Grim years and the plot is divided into two – Finton Dunne, an ex New York policeman turned Private Detective, sucked in to investigating the trial and conviction of murderer, with a deadline of an Execution.
Secondly, hero of the First World War, now and Admiral in the German Government, admiral Wilhelm Canaris who is forced to walk the tightrope of love of country and the racial excesses of the T...more
It’s no easy task summing up the plot of Peter Quinn’s historical thriller, Hour of the Cat. Although the main mystery concerns whether or not a man on death row has been framed for murder, there are several diverse plot lines, a countless cast of characters and plenty of historical details to absorb along the way. And Quinn shows no mercy for those readers who aren’t paying attention as the action shifts between gritty New York locales to the offices and playgrounds of Nazi big shots during the...more
The history and setting were fairly well done - the prevalence on both sides of the Atlantic of the pseudo-science of eugenics that was used to justify everything from non-intervention to concentration camps and genocide, the dithering of the Allied powers who didn't want to get involved, the paralysis of the German officer class who despised Hitler and were afraid to oppose him overtly until it was too late, were all pretty well laid out. But I thought the plot and the characters were a little...more
Rob Kitchin
The strength of The Hour of the Cat is its plot, characters, and historical contextualisation and detail. The story is an expansive, complex but intricately plotted tale that blends a traditional style private investigator tale with national and international politics. There are numerous interlinked subplots that mix fictional and real-life characters and are contextualised within the historical record of the time, such as the eugenics movement on both sides of the Atlantic, the expressions of N...more
Janet Martin
Must agree with others who felt the story was well researched, but confusing and flat. Certainly an decent espionage thriller that could have greatly benefited from keeping the story in fewer viewpoints, and possibly been exceptional
An international murder mystery, built around the notorious eugenics fad of the late 30s. Set in 1938, the novel shifts between New York, where private eye Fintan Dunne is trying to sort out a brutal murder, and Berlin, where a few Nazi officers are trying to stop an increasingly irrational Hitler from forcing Germany into another devastating war and imposing his final solution on the Jews and others. The story is historically informed, the period detail, particularly in New York, is interestin...more
This sprawling work has elements of political and spy thriller but is mostly a tight and gritty 30's style detective novel with a great feel for time and place. Initially the plot meanders a bit and the shifts of focus between New York City and Berlin have an effect on the momentum but once it becomes clear that some grisly events in Germany are tied to some New York murders all is very good. The protagonist, private eye Dunne, is an excellent character, written with a subtlety that ensures he d...more
This sounded so good, but it ended up being a lot of work to slog through this book. The story was interesting but I just couldn't stand his writing.
Excellent Mystery - Historical Fiction - Espionage thriller. Highly recommend.
Al Stoess
Apr 12, 2014 Al Stoess rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Quinn fans. Nazi reading fans.
Interesting mix of history and faction.
Small Creek
Oct 06, 2008 Small Creek rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: neo-noirists
Try taking a walk in a nice, English garden, only to find that you've managed to walk yourself around in circles, getting nowhere, with no idea what you are doing. That's about the experience of reading this; difficult to get through, hard to follow. The initial boost that the blurb gave me petered out ten pages in and, stumbling and grumbling my way through the remaining, I found myself at the conclusion with no idea how I'd gotten there.

Try it out with a clear head and no expectations; you mig...more
Christine Wahl
Start date July 27, 2014
Outstanding mystery that wraps together WWI trench warfare, NYC corruption, and Nazi eugenics.
Good historical mystery. Easy to get into characters. Topic was above average. Felt much like Follett's eye of the needle or key to Rebecca. Wish I'd read in order.
Carolyn Rose
Set on the eve of WWII, and dealing with the issue of eugenics, this book blends two plots--that of a New York private detective trying to clear a man sentenced to death, and Admiral Canaris, walking a tightrope between his love of his country (Germany) and the horrors of Hitler's rise to power. I recommend it to anyone interested in this time period.
Sheryl Smith
It was an interesting read, but it was a bit hard to follow who was going where and doing what. It took a bit too long for the story to come together for my taste.

Still, it was an interesting view into the minds of the mid-eschelon of the Nazi regime and their counterparts in the U.S. and England.
A rather formulaic almost mystery where the main character is a down-on-his luck private eye. Set in New York in 1938. The history was fun, but the story was kind of flat.
Jack Laschenski
Hitler, Eugenics, American traitors, crooked cops!

The strange picture of America and Germany in the 1930s.

Probably better than my rating!
I didn't actually read this - I couldn't get past the first 30 pages. It was too much like a bad film noir attempt, and hopelessly boring.
I liked the mounting suspense and the different vantage points of major and minor players in a WWII-era scandal.
Very enjoyable. Not unlike the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but set in the pre-WWII New York and Berlin.
Noir ...detectives and Nazis and murder can it be wrong?
Dustin Manning
Not good or enjoyable in the least
Toesnorth's mom
pretty good, pre WWII Germany and US
Narrated by Ned Schmidtke.
Kalin Thomas
Kalin Thomas marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2014
Chessie Monks
Chessie Monks is currently reading it
Aug 11, 2014
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Peter Quinn is the author of the novel Banished Children of Eve (winner of an American Book Award) and previously served as speechwriter for New York governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. A third-generation New Yorker whose granparents were born in Ireland, he is currently Editorial Director for Time Warner and lives in Hastings, New York.
More about Peter Quinn...
Banished Children of Eve:  A Novel of Civil War New York The Man Who Never Returned Looking for Jimmy: A Search for Irish America Dry Bones What's Wrong With My Handgun Shooting? - Analyzing the Target - A Quck Reference (What's Wrong With My Handgun Shooting?)

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