The Katyn Order
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The Katyn Order

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The German war machine is in retreat as the Russians advance. In Warsaw, Resistance fighters rise up against their Nazi occupiers, but the Germans retaliate, ruthlessly leveling the once-beautiful city. American Adam Nowak has been dropped into Poland by British intelligence as an assassin and Resistance fighter. During the Warsaw Uprising he meets Natalia, a covert operat...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by McBooks Press (first published 2011)
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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferIn Pursuit of Platinum by Vic RobbieNight by Elie Wiesel
Best WWII Fiction and Biography
59th out of 230 books — 279 voters
Fire in the Steppe by Henryk SienkiewiczThe Teutonic Knights by Henryk SienkiewiczSchindler's List by Thomas KeneallyPoland by James A. MichenerThe Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff
Historical Fiction: Poland
27th out of 52 books — 24 voters


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Community Reviews

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Sarah Gruwell
I enjoyed this novel. It had a great setting, intriguing characters, and edge of your seat suspense inherent to all spy novels. Yet, when all is said and done, I was disappointed at the ending. The story really seems to have just cut off and the reader is left blinking wondering what happened.

I liked the characters of Natalia, Adam, and Rabbit. They were very fleshed out and three-dimensional in some very trying circumstances. I was engaged enough by them to be sucked into their struggle to surv...more
Susan Kavanagh
This exciting thriller set in Word War II plunges readers into the life of an assassin aiding the Polish underground during the Warsaw Rising of 1944. Towards the end of the war, Poland’s government-in-exile in London instructed Poland’s underground army, the AK, to fight the Nazis for control of Warsaw. The Russians refused to help the Poles save the city or its people. Jacobson captures the horror of the war for the AK and the almost complete destruction of a great old city. After the end of t...more
Erin
I've recently started reading one book upstairs and one book downstairs, but usually one of the books takes over and I carry it around until I'm finished. This time, The Katyn Order overtook The Imperfectionists (which I am also enjoying). It tells some of the lesser-known stories of World War II, focusing on the Warsaw Uprising and the Katyn Order, which was signed by Stalin and authorized the execution of 20,000 Polish military officers, lawyers, and other educated people. When the bodies were...more
Arlene
It was just my luck when I found this book on the library's e-book list. There was no waiting list (not necessarily a good sign), so I took my chances and downloaded it. It was just my luck, as this book turned out to be one of the best historical novels I have ever read; it fed into my historical novel preferences.
Those preferences include: a setting in the World War II era (1940, and 1945-6 in this book), a little known actual WWII happening (the Katyn Massacre of Polish Soldiers)on which this...more
Evie
Beautiful, deeply moving, passionate, with vividly described places and people - The Katyn Order was absolutely phenomenal. I loved it. In fact, I enjoyed it far more than I ever expected! Jacobson's virtuosic storytelling will have you hooked from page one - you won't be able to put this book down. Highly recommended!
Heavensent1
The Katyn Order is an historical fiction set in WWII.

Natalia is a resistance fighter for the Armia Krajowa (AK), Poland's home army and she has risen up against her Nazi oppressors to take back Warsaw during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Germany is losing the war and the Red Army is set to take control of the situation by strategically placing themselves around the city.

The AK's situation is bleak, their food and water supplies are running low, their weapons are out-of-date, ammunition is scarce...more
Bonnie
Well written and extremely informative. The setting is Warsaw, Poland during the resistance movement against the Nazi regime. The Russians are advancing toward Warsaw and the Germans destroy everything in sight before they arrive. The city is under constant attack, even hospitals are leveled. Adam Nowak is an American who has been dropped into Poland by British Intelligence as an assassina and Resistance fighter. He had been raised in America, but returned to his native Poland to live with his u...more
Tiffany
Really liked this book. I liked the fact that it told a story that is lesser known about WWII. I liked that it had a time frame to follow with a date listed for each chapter. I liked that it told the story from a few different perspectives. I enjoyed how the stories of each of the narratives intertwined to really see the different aspects of the story. Anyone who enjoys a well written World War II story will really enjoy this book.

Now, for the meat of what it is about:
This story starts out in th...more
Ruth Hill
This is the reason I read historical fiction--for books just like this. This is a book that is crafted with immeasurable care and precision, and it will leave you knowing more about something that is not normally discussed--the Katyn Massacre, an actual historical event.

As I began the book, I was horrified at what I read. I always hear about the German atrocities, but I have heard very little about what the Russians did. I had no idea about what happened in Polish history, and there were many ti...more
Cathy
When I was researching for my thesis, "Rhetorical Strategies of the Third Reich," I mostly concentrated on how Hitler and the Nazi Party used various forms of propaganda against the German people in a effort to turn them to the Hitlerian worldview. Included in this were the efforts to turn the people against the Jews using insidious methods at targets of all ages. For instance, comic books and coloring books for children that depicted the Jews as rats, etc.

I am well aware of the Warsaw Ghetto Up...more
Karen
In the summer of 1944, as the Wehrmacht began its bitter retreat from Russia, the Polish Home Army staged an insurrection to retake Warsaw. Though initially successful, ultimately the Germans savagely crushed the revolt, executed all the insurgents they could find, and leveled Warsaw. Against this backdrop is told the story of Adam Nowak, a Polish-born American and operative of the British SOE, working as a member of the Polish resistance, and Natalia, a young Polish woman who has lost her entir...more
CoffeeBook Chick
It's books like this that make me grateful for, well, books. Invariably there is always something that is new for me, and an event like this is one that we cannot forget. To do so, yet again does a disservice to the victims and their families, families who waited in vain for their loved ones to come home, never knowing that they had been mercilessly slaughtered.

Adam and Natalia were characters I immediately liked, along with a young teenager nicknamed Rabbit, a skillful messenger and a general j...more
Bill Thibadeau
The author tells 2 separate stories. The first 40% of the book tells of the Warsaw Rising in which the Germans basically ran over the Polish freedom fighters (AK) with a merciless siege. The Poles did inflict heavy damage on the Germans in their losing cause.

The story then shifts to a mysterious document written by the Russians and signed by Stalin that authorized the extermination of 27,000 Poles. About 4,000 Polish officers died in the Katyn forest as a result of the Katyn Order.

I found the st...more
Wanda
Vacillated between 2.5 and 3 on this one. The second half of the book concerning the search for a mysterious Kathy order document was more exciting than the first. I was hoping for a better read with respect to the Warsaw Uprising, in which my parents fought -- along with a 13 year old named Mikki Bandyta (pseudonym - actually Zolman Hochman). The two main protagonists reminded me a bit of my parents. My dad was dropped behind enemy lines, having been trained by the SOE as a Cichociemny and he w...more
Terri
The Katyn Order is an interesting thriller set in the heart of World War II. The story follows Adam Nowak, also known as Wolf, as he works to help save Poland from both the Nazis and the Russians. The first part of the book takes place during the war. The rest of the book shifts to a post-war situation where Adam turns from skilled sniper to covert agent in order to find proof of an order to commit a massacre in the Katyn Forest.

What I appreciated most about this book is the level of research t...more
Liz
Basically, this book is what my husband likes to watch in movies. Rampant death and destruction, humans acting like beasts, violence on every page and cities in total ruin. The book begins with the Warsaw Rising (first historical event I hadn't known about--different than the earlier ghetto uprising), during which several thousand Polish resistance members fought a losing, weeks-long block-to-block battle with the Nazis while the Russians, ostensibly allies of the Poles, chilled out on the oppos...more
Jill Paulson
A die-hard fan of historical fiction, this book was right up my alley. While this book is fiction, it is important to not that the Katyn Order - the murder of Polish officers and civilians - does exist and did happen. I especially enjoy fiction that weaves in truth and it was obvious that Jacobson has done his research.

Previously, I had not know of this particular piece of WWII history and found the details both interesting and disturbing.

This book is a wonderful, non-stop thriller that I could...more
Tony
I'm a sucker for a good WWII-set thriller or crime book, and that's just what this is -- good, but not great. The story opens in Warsaw in the fall of 1944, as the German army is being driven back by the Soviets. With the Soviets almost at the gates of Warsaw, the underground Polish home army launches what became known as the Warsaw Rising (not to be confused with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of the previous year). The first third or so of the book details the desperate attempts by the Polish citi...more
Virginia
Oof! this was great but terrifying, and drew me in right from the beginning! I had to keep reminding myself that while based on true events, and well researched, it is fiction! I love how the women fighters were featured. Often they're given more supporting roles, but here they were front and centre and treated as important and respectfully as the men. I also like who the author never lets you forget you're in the middle of a war, but subtly, with the ground shaking, or the sound of shells int h...more
Rachel
This book is divided into 2 parts - the conflict in Warsaw and the quest for the Katyn Order that follows. The Katyn Order is full of rich description and visual language making it a pleasure to read. I found the second half of the book to be more exciting than the first, and as such I couldn't put it down once I hit the halfway point. The book is a reminder of the exceptional atrocities faced by those in Poland from both the German and Russian fronts. The massacre in Katyn forest is central to...more
Michelle
Compelling spy novel with a few twists and turns that I had not expected. Polish-born American Adam Nowak (code name: Wolf),is sent by the SOE to assist the Polish underground in the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis but is haunted by his own personal losses and is bent on revenge. Polish underground member Natalia (code name: the Conductor) finds herself completely alone after losing all of her family wanting the Nazis out of Poland as well, but distrusting the Russians even more after witnessi...more
Jennifer
A solid historical about an event I knew little about before. I appreciated the look at Poland - trapped between the Nazis and Stalin's Russia at the end of WWII. Jacobson does a great job of detailing the mess of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 (not to be confused with the Ghetto Uprising of 1943 - I know, I thought they were the same before this book!). The reactions of the Resistance and the abuse that the Polish suffered from both sides was very well portrayed.

The suspense built around the loca...more
Carla
Talk about a book making you feel like you are there experiencing the events. This is a very gripping novel. For those that are into war themed books I would very much recommend this novel. I brought this with me to a soccer tournament and found it difficult to put down. It is so descriptive that I actually shuddered at some of the things that were happening. This made my heart break at points and had me rooting for the main characters to conquer their enemies at other times. It made me wonder i...more
Jennifer
I got this book through Goodreads First Reads. I wish I could give it three and a half stars. I found it to be a very enjoyable read. The descriptions were well done, and it had some great moments of suspense. I only gave it three stars because I found that I really didn't connect to the characters as much as I did the setting. I had a nagging feeling I wouldn't have liked it so much if it didn't tie in with Russian history, which I love.
Teri
I won this book in a contest giveaway and dragged my feet reading it because I'm not much into historical war stories but I could not put this book down. This a non-stop WWII historical thriller.
The story is skillfully executed, richly detailed with a love story set against the odds during the grotesque reality of the Warsaw Uprising. A must read especially for the history buff !
Barb
I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book in the very beginning, but it didn't take long until I was totally engrossed in the story. The characters are excellent and the story is based on actual events in history that I did not know about (or forgot after high school LOL). I would highly recommend this read as a great story and a fun way to learn some history. :-)
Ishanie
So I won this book through goodreads First Reads giveaways! And I'm glad I did. I've never learned anything about WWI and WWII then Nazi's and the Holocaust. This book told the story of the vicious war between the Polish and Russians and the horrors the Polish faced. It took me a while to get through but I have no complaints. It was a pretty good read from beginning to end!
Louisa
This was a great book, I'm glad I won it, I enjoyed the history, and the characters, though the ending was a bit sad, because there was a lot of deaths throughout the book, and it makes me think whether or not they were worth it or not. But yeah, I loved it!
Wf Munn
Good description of the Polish resistance to German occupation. The heroic Warsaw uprising is vividly described.The device of the "Katyn Order" is contrived.
Mainrun
This historical fiction had too many boiler-plate thriller moments mainly in the first half of the book: man comes to rescue of woman hospital volunteer & death bed moments man/woman bonding hero bares his sole running through a war-ruined-city at n
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Andrew Book Review 1 5 Jan 16, 2013 12:27PM  
626223
Doug Jacobson is a World War Two history enthusiast who travels extensivley in Europe. Doug's bebut novel, NIGHT OF FLAMES, was inspired by his belgian relatives and his Polish heritage. The theme of Doug's interest in WW2 is the courage and determination of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.
NIGHT OF FLAMES received the 2008 "Outstanding Achievement Award" from the Wisconsin Librar...more
More about Douglas W. Jacobson...
Night of Flames: A Novel of World War II

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