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Ratlines

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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,003 ratings  ·  209 reviews
Ireland 1963. As the Irish people prepare to welcome President John F. Kennedy to the land of his ancestors, a German national is murdered in a seaside guesthouse. Lieutenant Albert Ryan, Directorate of Intelligence, is ordered to investigate. The German is the third foreigner to die within a few days, and Minister for Justice Charles Haughey wants the killing to end lest ...more
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Soho Crime
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(showing 1-30 of 2,579)
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Megan
Set yourself in Ireland 1963, 18 years after the end of WWII but 18 years is hardly enough time for people to forget the horrors that occurred in and by Nazi Germany. During the war Ireland stayed neutral not wanting to get pulled into another one of Britain's fights, though some like the main character Ryan, did fight with the British. Many Nazi's sought refugee in Ireland after the war to try and save themselves persecution. It is true that Skorzeny, like in the novel, lived in Ireland. It isn ...more
Rob Kitchin
The strengths of Ratlines are the characterisation, plot, contextualisation, and pacing and prose. Neville revels in tales of conflicted, outsider characters placed in difficult circumstances. The lead character in Ratlines is Albert Ryan, an Irishman, but also protestant who has served in the British army fighting the Germans, who has some sympathies with those administering justice to Nazis on the run. He thoroughly dislikes his mission of protecting Skorzeny and the politics underpinning it, ...more
Lisa B.
Excellent!

I have decided that I like Irish authors and this book is a perfect example why. There so much history to draw from. This book had it all - murder mystery, plot twists, back stabbing.....what more could a reader ask for?

Thank you to Soho Press and Netgalley for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: January 1, 2013
Tony
RATLINES. (2013). Stuart Neville. **.
My expectations of this novel were higher than it was able to deliver against. Previous novels by Mr. Neville have been excellent, especially “The Ghosts of Belfast.” This latest was formulaic to the max. Our hero was Albert Ryan. He is ordered to identify and deliver over to authorities the people responsible for the murder of a man who was known to be a former Nazi, but had emigrated to Ireland after the war under an assumed name. What made this assignment
...more
Larraine
It's often the case that a well-crafted novel can teach the rider about a subject. In this case, I learned something I never knew: that Ireland had sheltered high level Nazis after WWII. Ireland was officially neutral in WWII. However, perhaps due to the animosity between Ireland and Britain, the Irish government chose to allow a large number of high level Nazis as well as sympathizers to settle in Ireland after WWII.

I also learned that some Bretons of the French province of Breton (Brittany,)
...more
Michael Griswold
Ratlines by Stuart Neville is a weird book for me. On the basis of plot alone, I should’ve loved this book. A secret underground network known as the Ratlines smuggles Nazi perpetrators and collaborators out of Germany and onto the somewhat friendly territory of Northern Ireland. But now, days before a visit by US President John F. Kennedy, someone is murdering Nazi collaborators. Political leaders are desperate to solve the case out of fear of what having a Nazi-murdering killer could do to the ...more
Gloria Feit
Starting with the historical fact that many Nazi war criminals escaped after World War II with fortunes stolen from their victims and became ensconced in various countries like Franco’s Spain, Peron’s Argentina and anti-British Ireland, Stuart Neville has created a first-rate mystery. The protagonist is a Lieutenant in the Directorate of Intelligence, Albert Ryan, who lied about his age to enlist in the British army and fought in the European theater, Egypt and Korea before returning home.

Ryan i
...more
Gayle
Well-plotted albeit violent thriller set in Ireland on the eve of John F. Kennedy' visit, Ratlines is a tale of the enemy of my enemy is my friend or is he? The protagonist is Lt. Albert Ryan, a member of Ireland's G-2 Directorate, an intelligence agent. His assignment is to find out who is threatening Otto Skorzeny, the Austrian Nazi who rescued Mussolini in 1943. The paradox of our hero is that he finds out that the Irish government tolerates the presence of Nazis (human beasts) and their coll ...more
Eric
Feb 05, 2013 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction
Before getting into my review, I have to give full disclosure -- I almost never read historical fiction. In fact, the only other historical fiction novels I can think of that I've read are Operation Napoleon (review) and The Guns of Navarone (review). Also of note is that I am a poor student of history, and did not know that Otto Skorzeny or ratlines were real, non-fictional aspects of this book, though the specifics of the plot were entirely fabricated.

With that out of the way, I'll admit that
...more
Linda
So pleased that I have discovered this author, I just love his style. This is a standalone and so compelling that when I had to put it down for a few days I was annoyed!
My history is somewhat ignorant, so I really enjoy novels that incorporate slices of history.
Ratlines are the escape avenues set up by the Nazis, ways out, channels, escape routes. In 1963 Ireland, someone is killing off the "Nazis" that have escaped there.Lieutenant Albert Ryan is ordered to investigate the killings but at the s
...more
Joseph
As with other Neville books, the pages kept turning. But for me, Ratlines isn't as good as Collusion (better) or Ghosts of Belfast (best). The book's hero seems to take an unnecessary amount of punishment. And by 'unnecessary' I mean not only the amount of gruesome imagery the author subjects the reader to, but also within the context of the plot itself -- the motivations of the bad guys don't seem to match up with their actions.
As Albert Ryan takes his beatings, he swears comeuppance for his to
...more
Carey Combe
Really enjoyed this. Great idea for a novel, although had to skip the torture scenes...
Seana
Read this one for interesting material Neville uses. I hadn't known before reading this that Ireland's neutrality during World War II, which was more about hatred for the English than any particular love for the Germans led to the curious situation that Ireland became a place of refuge for various Germans after the war. Although undergoing a process of deNazification, there were some pretty creepy characters that actually floated through. Neville's crime novel is an exploration of this odd time ...more
Ben
This book intrigued me for ages before making it's way into my collection after hearing good things about it via Ben Kane way back in 2013, it then languished in my 'To Be Read' pile for quite a while until it finally reached the top.

Definitely worth the wait!

Very well written, Ratlines keeps a good balance between dialogue and physicality (some of which won't be for the more squeamish amongst you).

I really enjoy when an authors writing style easily allows me to conjure images of what I'm readin
...more
Deborah Gray
Albert Ryan's strong moral code has not made it easy for him. He never really fit in anywhere, but compromise to get along wasn't in his DNA. He fought with the British against the Nazis in WWII, making him very unpopular in Ireland and branding his family as turncoats in their small village. His Irish countrymen wanted nothing to do with "The Emergency" as they called the war. After all, any enemy of the British is a friend to the Irish. In 1963, Ryan is a Lieutenant for the Directorate of Inte ...more
Randy
Though based partly on fact, RATLINES is mostly fiction. This thriller is set in 1963 Ireland. They are preparing for a visit from the young American President Kennedy.

Something has happened that may or may not be connected. A German national has been murdered, the third of three foreigners dead within a few days of each other. Lieutenant Albert Ryan of the Directorate of Intelligence has been assigned to find out who's doing the killing and stop them.

You see, the three men all have a connectio
...more
Susan Jacoby


As expected from Stuart Neville, this is a good, solidly crafted story that quickly captures the imagination with a morally complex mystery set in 1963 Ireland. The title "Ratlines" refers to a system of escape routes through Europe utilized by Nazis after the end of WWII. Having never heard the term before, I was surprised when a quick internet search revealed that the novel's villain, Otto Skorzeny, was not only a real historical figure, but the very Nazi who masterminded the "Odessa File" und
...more
Ade Couper
(This was a free review copy from Dead Good Books- a review has been submitted to them & will appear on their website.)

This is on the CWA shortlist for this year- but I'm not entirely sure why....

Ratlines has an intriguing premise- it's about a nazi colonel, Otto Skorzeny, who fled to Ireland after WW2; when he is pursued by unknown killers, he uses his friendship with the then Minister of Justice Charles Haughey to have Albert Ryan from G2 (the Irish secret service) assigned. There then fol
...more
Robert Intriago
A stand alone book by the author of the Lennon series. This book remains me of the departure that Lehane made from the Kenzie series and moved to what I call the "quasi" historical fiction genre. This book has as it main character an Irishman, Lt. Ryan, that fought for the English during the WW II and Korean wars despite the stance the Irish took against helping Britain during the conflict. In 1963, prior to the JFK visit to Ireland, several expatriated Nazi are murdered by unknown individuals. ...more
Kathy
Wow! Super book. Set in Ireland in 1963. After WWII Ireland offered refuge to some Nazi war criminals (this is fact). One of them Otto Skorzeny, seek the help of the Minister of Justice,. Charles Haughey. Both these men are also real as is the relationship between them. Now the fiction takes over. Someone is killing off the Nazis in Ireland and Lt. Albert Ryan of G2 is assigned to track the killers down quietly so the scheduled presidential visit of JFK will not be cancelled.
Now the convolutions
...more
Tuck
a mystery/police procedural and a semi-noir novel set in ireland 1960's in where the protag is a badass uk army commando who gets assigned to minister of justice (corupt greedy douche bag) and tasked with taking care of a very rich nazi living the life in ireland. lots and lots of torture, murder, and mayhem ensue. another, and better take on nazis and germans in ireland is vargas llosa's novel The Dream of the Celt: A Novel it was just serendipity that i read both at same time.
Robin
I'm a big Stuart Neville fan and thoroughly enjoyed Collusion and The Twelve. Ratlines, which I think was shortlisted for the 2013 Steel Dagger for best thriller, is an intriguing tale, but didn't hold me quite so tightly in its grip.

The story is certainly fascinating, involving Nazis residing in Ireland – a neutral country during the Second World War – and networks used to spirit away war criminals in the post war period. This is set in 1963 and features the real-life figure of Justice Minister
...more
Ian Brydon
This was a chance acquisition, on the basis that the blurb on the back of the book gave an offbeat appeal. The story is set in Dublin in 1963 with the Irish government preparing for the imminent visit of President Kennedy, and features an intriguing mix of real and fictional characters. Albert Ryan is a lieutenant in the Irish Army, attached to its intelligence service. He is summoned to the office of the Minister of Justice, Charles Haughey, who advises him about a series of killings that have ...more
Peter Sørensen
An interesting setting for a crime novel: A young nation, struggling with a very complex relationship with it's former oppressor and a one of the few to remain untouched by the horrors of WWII, became a safe haven for quite a few Nazis after their defeat.
In this novel, someone is going round killing them off, and the protagonist, a Protestant who joined the British to fight the Nazis (not a popular move in Ireland at the time), and now works for the Irish Directorate of Intelligence, is set to t
...more
Naomi
Read my full review: http://bit.ly/137icXL

My opinion: This was an awesome read. Forget the fact that it was a really fast paced, twisted read. Forget the fact that it was incredibly well written. Forget the fact that it was laden with complex characters. This book made me think. This book taught me about an area of history that I knew nothing about.
Mary
While reading this historical mystery, I learned how Nazis were welcomed and protected by the Irish State following World War II. I was totally unaware of this fact The main character Albert Ryan served with the British during World War II and I also learned that Irish men who served in the War with the Allies were shunned when they returned home. This story is set in the sixties right before the visit of Kennedy to Ireland and predates the "troubles" but the IRA plays a strong part in the plot ...more
Rich Saskal
This is historical fiction with a tale spun out of what is to Americans a relatively unexplored area of history -- the aftermath of Ireland's neutrality in World War II, after which the Irish Republic hosted and effectively protected ex-Nazis.
If you'd asked me halfway through, I'd have said the book was on track to be a three-star book. There is a hint of melodrama in the writing, and the motivations of the lead character are never fully fleshed out. Two of the main characters in Ratlines, set
...more
Ruth
This is the first book i have read by Stuart Neville and thought it was a terrific read.
It's a fast paced Nazi hunting thriller with lots of double and triple crosses. It has an imaginative story line.,which starts with the murder of a German business man and a note pinned to his body addressed to Colonel Otto Skorzeny,Hitler's favourite commando.The note warns he is next.Lieutenant Albert Ryan is ordered to protect Skorzeny,however as he fought against the Nazis,he is finding it hard to protect
...more
Gail Strickland
More twists and turns than a drunken snake but highlights a part of Irish history that I wasn't that familiar with other than from an old, old black and white movie. High recommended for the those with a strong stomach.
Jodi
4.25 Stars. I really like the way Neville writes. He immerses you in the story, the place, the people. In this instance it is Ireland in the 1960s. Lt Albert Ryan is ordered to investigate the killings of a couple of Nazis who have sought refuge in Ireland. The investigation puts Ryan in contact with many unsavory characters. There are many twists and turns, that lead to an outstanding end. Neville's books are dark. There is plenty of violence and a torture scene or two that are quite difficult. ...more
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2880615
I have been a musician, a composer, a teacher, a salesman, a film extra, a baker and a hand double for a well known Irish comedian, but I'm currently a partner in a successful multimedia design business in the wilds of Northern Ireland.

I have published short stories in Thuglit, Electric Spec and Every Day Fiction. THE TWELVE is my first novel, and will be published in the UK and Commonwealth by Ha
...more
More about Stuart Neville...
The Ghosts of Belfast (Jack Lennon Investigations #1) Collusion (Jack Lennon Investigations #2) Stolen Souls (Jack Lennon Investigations #3) The Final Silence Those We Left Behind (DCI Serena Flanagan, #1)

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