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The Zodiac Deception: A Novel
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The Zodiac Deception: A Novel

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  68 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Summer, 1942: The con man known as David Walker didn't exactly volunteer, but OSS chief Wild Bill Donovan convinced him that serving his country and the cause of freedom by posing as German astrologer Peter Kepler was a better use of his time than going to prison for impersonating a Princeton University psychology professor. Besides, how could he resist the chance to pull ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Forge Books
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Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Imagine a hero who is equal parts Robert Langdon, Indiana Jones, and Danny Ocean gets recruited to change the course of World War II. Peter Kepler is that man. Although "Peter Kepler" is just the latest alias for a man who has been a student of Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Recruited by the OSS and aided by a cast of characters ranging from a beautiful Nazi filmmaker to a renegade Catholic priest to Sir Winston Churchill himself, Peter insinuates himself into the elite of the Nazi Par
Nov 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
I was not a fan at all, I read this for a book club. The author writes in a way where everything is unbelievable, the main character just suddenly seems to remember he has the skill to do this, and this this, and then this... I found his writing to be very contrived rather than fluid. Also, I guess it didn't help that I'm not a fan of the astrology.
Rhonda oligney
Mar 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
just couldn't "get into " the read....not for me ....too much Hilter back history instead of thriller read passing it on to my husband
Mark Shannon
Sep 09, 2015 rated it liked it
David Walker has created a comfortable life teaching psychology at an exclusive college in the Northeast. But the head of the OSS knows that he is really a con man who was taught by Houdini in the art of deception. His friendship with Arthur Conan Doyle has taught him to be a master of observation and deduction. In exchange for the continuation of his comfortable lifestyle the OSS dragoons him to pose as a German astrologer who must convince a superstitious Himmler to murder Hitler. Walker is in ...more
Lynda Coker
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
With grand deceptions, lots of sharp turns, and plunging descents, this story carries a reader on a journey both adventurous and scary. It's plot is not predictable and has some interesting/weird twists that sneak up on a reader.

“All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players.” This Shakespearean quote is very central to the overall issue of this story. With the character's lives depending on their ability to convince their audience that what is, really isn't, or just the oppos
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The premise was amazing...and everything you think is far-fetched is true. I spent a lot of time fact checking (e.g. "I thought there were no female legionnaires?!"; "You're telling me Himmler is obsessed with the occult?"), and every time, those are the real bits of the story. Even, from what I understand, direct quotes--and bad jokes--from Hitler are meticulously researched. And then spinning all of those unlikely elements into a gripping story spanning multiple countries with a credible and n ...more
Linda Munro
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have had this book on my 'I want to read' list for one year.

How to explain this book...I suppose one could call it an historical thriller. Set during WWII, spies and counterspies abound, but what is known of the Reich these days, who is to say that something like this could not have happened?

This book takes an American con man and places him into the conning position of a lifetime, conning Himmler, through astrology, to kill Hitler and end the war. But can such a con succeed?
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, and enjoy Gary's writing style. I must say that after hearing him discuss the writing of the book at my store last weekend, I had a completely renewed perspective on his writing style. I feel it is a page turner- a really good thriller and found myself wanted to read his next installment.
Meredith Kramer
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
did not like writing style. couldn't get into it and quit. However I liked the story line.
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great idea and a period I love. A con man that is recruited to stop Hitler! This is a great read...
Ryan Hillis
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Good World War II thriller about the OSS operation to kill Hitler!!
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding novel by a first time author. I'm looking forward to the next one.
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
A good read, a fantastic writer.
Rob Johnson
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gary Kriss hooked me. Fantastic new author.
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Gary Kriss weaves together World War II history, fascinating occult, and an excitingly original plot in a way that is both fantastic and plausible. My kind of book!
Dee Halzack
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you like period suspense, this is a great one. Set during WWII. works with the known interest on the part of some Nazis in astrology and the occult. Lots of twists and turns.
Nov 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
A torturous read!
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
If ever a book needed a good editor this is the one. At 350 pages it would have been mildly entertaining. At 496 pages its tedious. Its as if the author imagined he was being paid by the word.
David S
rated it it was ok
Nov 16, 2014
Walter Moss
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Mar 08, 2017
Petricia F.
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Dec 14, 2014
rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2017
Brian Liedman
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Jul 15, 2015
Phil James
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Sep 08, 2014
Virginia Hollon
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Jul 22, 2014
Andrea Michelle DePoy
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May 13, 2015
Brian Howell
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Feb 01, 2015
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Apr 16, 2015
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Sep 17, 2014
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GARY KRISS has been stringing together words for longer than he cares to remember, including for The New York Times where he wrote critically acclaimed feature articles.

Born in the great borough of Brooklyn, Gary was raised in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, near Dolly Parton’s home town, although he has never shown any vocal ability. He did, however, fall under the spell of the South’s ric
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