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Spandau Phoenix (World War Two #2)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  3,110 ratings  ·  169 reviews
The Spandau Diarywhat was in it? Why did the secret intelligence agencies of every major power want it? Why was a brave and beautiful woman kidnapped and sexually tormented to get it? Why did a chain of deception and violent death lash out across the globe, from survivors of the Nazi past to warriors in the new conflict now about to explode? Why did the world's entire his ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published April 1st 1994 by Signet (first published May 1st 1993)
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Blood Memory by Greg IlesTurning Angel by Greg IlesTrue Evil by Greg IlesThe Quiet Game by Greg IlesDead Sleep by Greg Iles
The Best Of Greg Iles
9th out of 15 books — 37 voters
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Nazi Germany in fiction
13th out of 50 books — 72 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ron Grunberg
He's a pretty extraordinary writer. This was his first book, and it's the book of a master, you think. And there are so many more. And what's interesting is that he changes genre, or perhaps rather, motif. After writing this book and his next, Black Cross, both Nazi-themed, he completely left that world particularly because he didn't want to face the pressure of having to stay "on subject" for the rest of his career. The only sense in which this is a pity is that those two books, rich in possibl ...more
Bruce Henderson
Spandau Phoenix is Greg Iles first novel. He took a few known historical facts and wrote a complex novel speculating how the pieces fit together. What is known is that Rudolf Hess flew to Scotland during World War II in 1941. Reasons why are not commonly known and given to much speculation. He was captured, imprisoned during the war and tried as a war criminal at the Nuremberg Trials where he was given a life sentence. He spent the rest of his life in Spandau Prison in West Berlin. Spandau Priso ...more
WOW, wow, wow, oh WOW! This was fantastic! Mr. Iles, you are an amazing researcher and writer. You kept track of so many characters and wove a story with many different threads into a cohesive, credible novel. Black Cross is one of my favorite novels and I'm putting Spandau Phoenix up there with it.

I know it must've consumed an enormous amount of time and was very draining...but I hope someday you return to this genre. Books like this written by novelists like yourself are rare.
A very complex story revisiting the 1941 "peace" visit that Rudolph
Hess made to England. Was it a legitimate effort to enter into an
alliance between England and Nazi Germany or the opening move in
a vast conspiracy. Good story but too long. 700 pages.
I come across a lot of these modern thriller type books at work, and most of them are quite poor in my view. However, I was quite impressed with this, Greg Iles's debut novel. What sets this apart from other novels of a similar type (many of them written by more popular writers, I might add) are two things: The writing is very solid and measured, showing a very intelligent control of pacing and an excellent grasp of character, and the characters themselves are for the most part depicted in shade ...more
Here's a not-so-funny story...after reading Greg Iles' excellent Mortal Fear, it was with much excitement and expectation that I dove into this one. And I wasn't disappointed...and then I was. Let me explain...

I'm 100 pages into this great story about papers that have been discovered at the Spandau prison in 1987 that would blow the lid off what we now understand about WWII, and this all revolves around Rudolf Hess' mysterious solo flight to England in 1941. So I'm enjoying this so far and what
Thomas Tyrer
I've yet to read one of Greg Iles' more contemporary thrillers but this is the second of his two World War II related novels I've enjoyed. At nearly 700 pages, it includes multiple interweaving storylines and complex inter-relationships between both East and West German, Soviet, British, American, Israeli, Libyan and South African characters and political interests, so it's sometimes hard to keep everything straight. There are more than a few times I had to go back and re-read a few pages or mor ...more
I'm glad I didn't read this book as my first Greg Iles' book. He's one of my favorite authors and you can definitely tell this is his debut novel. This book needed an editor. It was way too long and redundunt. Mr. Iles repeated himself several times describing characters or scenes. The middle section of the book jumped around to different characters without expanding their depth. The middle part was boring and hard to follow. I love his next books so maybe it was just a first time diaster or may ...more
Nitin Arora
A very captivating story. I would rate it second on my list of WW2 fictions, my favorite being 'Black cross' by the same author.

The events in the story progress real fast, but then there are parts where the story seem to drag a little (hence the four stars instead of five), but the overall plot is just too good for these 'dragged' parts to affect the overall reading experience much.

Also, in my opinion, the best thing about the story is that the real historic events (and existing conspiracy theo
I finished the last half of this book in a day and loved it. Greg Iles needs to stick to historical fiction. He's great at it. This book was pretty complicated with a LOT of characters, but Iles did a great job of keeping them all straight and setting the scene a bit before diving into subsequent parts of the story.

This was also a great suspense novel, Iles seemed to find an unexplained part of WW2 and created a great fictional piece around explaining the disappearance of a very highly ranked N
Greg Iles indicated to me a couple years ago that Spandau Phoenix - though it started him off - was his least favorite. But I enjoyed this book and felt it had a solid plot and interesting characters. It's very long, but hardly boring. In the beginning, it does take a little bit for it to get off the ground, but that was just to set up the events that were to follow. And wow - what a complex plot with loads of characters. I was impressed and have to respectfully disagree with Greg. Because for m ...more
Nikki Handros
This suspense thriller is based on the notion that the man imprisoned in Spandau Prison for many years was not Rudolf Hess, but his Nazi double. The nearly 700-page plot takes you from Britain to Germany to South Africa -- the long road to an explosive ending. While it brings you into the current times, it still often feels like a World War II thriller in mood. I didn't care for it as much as I have some of Greg Iles' other books, but I would still recommend it to readers who also enjoy writers ...more
John R Engdahl
Believable historical fiction

The book was a slow read only because it was an historical fiction. Lots of material to get through in addition to the plot. I read the author's most recent book awhile back (Natchez Burning) and so decided to start with his first novel and work my way through. He provided accurate background and made the story believable.
I am a sucker for WWII stories. And with Iles you think you know where a story is going and what it's about and then he twists it. I'm amazed by how many balls he keeps up in the air and manages not to drop. I like this author and I'm going to read one of his non-WWII books and hope for the same level of writing.
Greg Tetreault
The sequel to Black Cross, but the characters are much older. Not as spellbinding as Black Cross but still a very worthy read. Would be best to read the two books one after the other so you don't forget characters and can pick up right where you left off.
I loved the book in general. But what was really the best part of it, is the last sentence. I love good last sentences, and this book had the best-last-sentence I've read in a long time.
I gave this a four star only because I didn't like it as much as the older books Iles has written. Don't misunderstand; the story had many characters and it was a complicated story line; hence 704 pages. Why did Rudolf Hess fly to Scotland in 1941? Did Hitler send him on this flight? After his capture and trail he was sentenced and sent to Spandau Prison in West Berlin and lived there until his death in 1987. He was the only prisoner there in the last few years and eventually died there. He was ...more
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Using the enigmatic mystery of Hitler's second in command's reasons for flying solo to the UK in the early days of WWII, this novel expands on the mystery by asking who it really was who took the solitary dare towards Britain. Rudolf Hess, Hitler's right hand man for most of his pre-war political career did indeed land in England on May 10th, 1941. Or did he? When the Rudolf Hess who had been incarcerated in Spandau Prison since the conclusion of the Nuremberg Trials suddenly comes to die under ...more
I have finally finished this book and I have to say that I struggled. I found the plotline well thought out and the characters were well developed. The plot line asks the question why did Rudolph Hess really fly to Britain in 1941, and from there the tale weaves its way to modern day. There are a lot of possibilities, and any book which makes you think cannot be bad. My problem was that with it being an e-book parts seemed to be slightly corrupted, not enough to complain about but just enough to ...more
Kathy Chung
Reviewed at : Mama Kucing Meow : Spandau Phoenix

Reviewed On : 15 March 2011

This is a very fast paced book. Something like Tom Clancy's Power Play Series. Innocent bystander turns into desperate combatants at the brutal violence, global intrigue, treason, and terror. Every nations are in a battle for supremacy. There is nobody you can trust.

It was so fast paced that I felt lost at certain parts. One part of me wants to know the outcome as soon as possible and another part of me was frustrated by
Marco den Ouden
Brilliant story about Rudolf Hess, the last Nazi prisoner at Spandau Prison. After Hess dies, a policeman finds some papers which sets off a chain of events as it becomes clear that the prisoner was a doppelganger and Hess is still alive. Not just alive, but trying to resurrect the Third Reich from a secure compound in South Africa. This was Isles first novel. A page-turning thriller.
Having read the author's recent series set in Natchez which was mesmerizing, I went to his early first writing. It is remarkable the diverse difference in subject matter and yet equally interesting.
I found the hypothesis of Ruldof Hess survival and possible cover up by all the major powers of the world to be intriguing. Truly one of the best story tellers today.
Bill Thibadeau
Having just finished reading Black Cross by Geg Iles, I hopped onto this follow up. I prefer his more current novels in terms of storyline. However, I was really drawn into the premise of this book. The historical fiction aspect of what may have happened if Rudolf Hess was never in Spandau prison caught me off guard.

This novel, even though it was slow developing and contained too many characters, was very intriguing and well crafted. After completing the book, I had to really think about how eas
Ashley McCabe

Continued from series one, this takes you way inside all the back doors of many governments and how our present day and future events are managed and altered for each one's gains. Nothing that has happened in history is as it seems, there is always others with different agendas that we as people are never told. Scary but true.
Mark Soone
Still a 5 star read after all of these years!

A brilliant conspiracy fiction alternate history theory on what really happened to Rudolf Hess (On par w/ Jack Higgins "Thunder Point" about Borman or Joseph Heywood's "The Berkut" about Hitler).

Shortly after Spandau prison is obliterated, with the US, Great Brittan, the Russians and Germany all mistrustful of one another guarding the Rubble a German police officer unearths some hidden documents about the true identity of the prisoner assumed to be He
Andrea Michelle DePoy
Head spinning complexity and constant action

Perhaps the most complex plot I have ever seen, but it is woven beautifully. The action is a never ending barrage. Together, the reader ends up almost as tired as the characters must be... from lack of sleep. It is tough to put down.
Second on Mr. Iles' books I've read, but this did not hold me like Natchez Burning. Like Natchez, this story has an incredibly twisted plot that spans decades, and the premise that a certain Nazi is still alive and buzzing around in a wheelchair was interesting to say the least. The narration was a downer as British accents sounded Australian, Cuban accents sounded faintly German, as did Israeli, Afrikans, Libyan, and Russian. It was hard to tell who was talking at times as they all sounded Germ ...more
Agnes J
Thriller built on a conspiracy theory of what became of Rudolph Hess during WWII. In the family of nations there are coverups and treachery, and reverse mirrors where a patriot is a traitor, and a zealot is a pragmatist. Yeah, there were moments that made me sweat!
This is a long book with many details and characters, and it's phenomenally good. I haven't read anything by this author so far that was anything but 5 star, but I still have many of his books to read. Spandau Phoenix is totally different subject matter than Mortal Fear, and yet the author makes every nuance so real.

This story takes place around the time Rudolph Hess disappeared while on a secret mission, and also in the 1980s. It involves several countries and their top brass, and yet it's an
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Greg Iles was born in Germany in 1960. He grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983. He was active in a band called "Frankly Scarlet", but quit after realizing that the touring lifestyle was not conducive with his family life. Once no longer busy with the band, he turned his attention to writing.

Greg's novels have been translated into various languag
More about Greg Iles...

Other Books in the Series

World War Two (2 books)
  • Black Cross
The Quiet Game (Penn Cage, #1) Turning Angel (Penn Cage, #2) Natchez Burning (Penn Cage, #4) Blood Memory (Mississipi #5) True Evil

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“treachery, weakness, envy, fanaticism—the most destructive forces available to man.” 0 likes
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