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Spandau Phoenix (World War Two #2)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,675 Ratings  ·  187 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 IlesThe Quiet Game by Greg IlesTurning Angel by Greg IlesTrue Evil by Greg IlesBlack Cross by Greg Iles
The Best Of Greg Iles
10th out of 14 books — 43 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakFatherland by Robert   HarrisThe Reader by Bernhard SchlinkHHhH by Laurent BinetSchindler's List by Thomas Keneally
Nazi Germany in fiction
16th out of 59 books — 88 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ron Grunberg
Aug 12, 2008 Ron Grunberg rated it really liked it
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
Apr 29, 2008 Bruce Henderson rated it it was amazing
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
Steph (loves water)
Apr 03, 2016 Steph (loves water) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ww2-fiction, 2015
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.
Jean-marcel
Apr 18, 2012 Jean-marcel rated it liked it
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
Chuck
Apr 10, 2010 Chuck rated it it was amazing
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.
Kathy
Mar 27, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it
Six hundred, ninety-five pages later, finally finished. Since much of Greg Iles books are based on fact, I am going to be doing some research as a follow up to see what I can find out about Rudolf Hess. This is quite a story about WWII and some time around 1987. I did find so many names, towns in Germany, and groups of police both German and Russian to be confusing.

The story centers around a "diary" of sorts that corrects history. The British, the Russians and Germans don't want the diary to co
...more
Bill
Feb 04, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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
...more
Thomas Tyrer
Nov 20, 2014 Thomas Tyrer rated it really liked it
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
Samantha
Mar 29, 2008 Samantha rated it it was ok
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
Jul 28, 2013 Nitin Arora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jill
Nov 22, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it
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
...more
Cyn
Jul 17, 2015 Cyn rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 05, 2010 Nikki Handros rated it really liked it
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
Prima Seadiva
Jan 20, 2016 Prima Seadiva rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Second book by this author I have picked up in audio form. The first, Natchez Burning, though also rather too violent was ok, this was impossible to finish. The fundamental plot around Rudolph Hess, his imprisonment, diary and mystery about it might have been interesting. However the story got really sidetracked for me with too many characters in too many preposterous situations that included way too much gratuitous violence.
Without giving spoilers (why I care I can't say) sorry, no one gets th
...more
Rob Osment
I really enjoyed the first three quarters of this book - it was a tense thriller built around the historical facts of Rudolf Hess 's flight to the UK and subsequent capture and the fallout of his death in 1987. Initially I found the story really gripping, with the different intelligence agencies of 1980's Berlin sparring off against each other whilst searching for documents allegedly written by Hess containing old war secrets which threaten modern life...

And then in the last quarter the story fa
...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.
Katie
May 14, 2014 Katie rated it liked it
Will this book ever end? 3 stars only because it's Greg Iles. Too long, too convoluted. Trying to keep everything straight was a lot of work and by the end I just didn't care! There was enough in the main story that I could cling to to make me want to finish (I rarely don't finish a book). Love Iles work but this one was not for me.
Luan
Jan 30, 2012 Luan rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 06, 2011 Greg Tetreault rated it really liked it
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.
Susu
Jan 15, 2015 Susu rated it really liked it
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.
Sandy
Jul 18, 2015 Sandy rated it really liked it
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
Michael
Jun 20, 2008 Michael rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martin
Sep 24, 2012 Martin rated it it was ok
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
Neil
Feb 06, 2014 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 28, 2011 Kathy Chung rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
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
...more
Marco den Ouden
Jul 30, 2014 Marco den Ouden rated it it was amazing
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.
Shirley
Jun 24, 2015 Shirley rated it really liked it
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
Oct 21, 2012 Bill Thibadeau rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Ashley McCabe
Jun 07, 2015 Ashley McCabe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting

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
Nov 14, 2013 Mark Soone rated it it was amazing
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
...more
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19696
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
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Other Books in the Series

World War Two (2 books)
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