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The Berkut (Beau Valentine #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  476 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
As flames devour the Third Reich, Hitler retires to his specially built bunker. But not to commit suicide. In the most daring plan ever conceived, SS commander Gunter Brumm and a fanatical team are coming to rescue him. But racing toward Berlin, The Berkut and his relentless Soviet assassins have one goal: returning Hitler alive to Stalin!
Mass Market Paperback, 568 pages
Published November 1st 1988 by Dell (first published 1987)
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Stjepan Cobets
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very well-conceived premise of the book. Hitler did not kill himself in a bunker, SS Colonel Gunter Brumma one of the best commandos pulls it out of the bunker with the intent to transfer to Argentina. Stalin wants hard evidence that his worst enemy dead and sends Vasilij Petrov and his capable and ruthless group specials to bring him Hitler's body or to take him alive. Although the basic premise of fiction very easily enters into a story that draws you to the end of the book. A very good book t ...more
Carol Storm
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I got this book as a present from an old pen pal of mine, a Marine sergeant stationed in the Philippines during Operation Desert Storm. Not only are the SS Men, Soviet spies, and American agents, all totally believable, the weapons systems are detailed and the characters are brutally real and fascinating.

My one complaint is that there was not enough of one particular character -- Rosemary Wilson, a WAC officer who stumbles across one of the Hitler Youth girls sneaking Hitler out of Germany. The
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
this was a 4.5 star - read

I found this book was a really enjoyable read - seemingly the author made a serious search about the WW2 and what happened immediately after the Red Army seized Berlin after a bloody battle.
The storyline was interesting also: Hitler didn't committed suicide, and a special Russian unit chased him and his 'rescuers' through the battled and ruined Germany and Italy, followed by the American OSS.
The characters and the storyline was well build, there was always something ha
Christian D.  Orr
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Action-adventure fans, military history buffs
An engrossing, action-packed novel based on the (not entirely implausible) premise that Adolf Hitler faked his death in his bunker and went on the lam, assisted by two Waffen-SS loyalists (Col. Gunter Brumm and Sgt. Maj. Hans "Beard" Rau) and a few "Valkyries" (females in their late teens who style themselves as members of the Werewolves guerrilla group), and assuming the identity of "Herr Wolf" along the way.

In hot pursuit are two entities from the Allied powers:
(1) Roguish American OSS agent B
Tihomir Grebenar
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was ok

***** SPOILERS!!! *****

The book starts of nicely and then gradually loses steam towards the end. There are main characters without any purpose (Valentine). Some plot elements make no sense at all: why would the Russians want to blame the Jews for the sinking? And why would they leave Brumm alive but kill a whole ship full of emigrants? The epilogue hit the final nail into the coffin: the scene does not belong to historical fiction but into cheesy horror books. Completely unrealistic.
The writing
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really good book. If you like World War II history, this is a great read. A fictional "what if" on alternative theories to the final demise of Adolf Hitler. Seen from the perspectives of a Russian special operations group and a US OSS officer on his last assignment.

The author is thorough in his use of facts known, and filling the unknowns in with plausible alternatives. He provides a reasonable rationale for the patriotism held by Soviet citizens that I could appreciate, and while I disagreed wi
Tessa Small
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant suspense drama all based on suspicion and gaps left after the second world war. The commitment of men and women to the roles they have to play and their dedication to their leaders and countries is admirable and inspiring. I loved the twists and turns taken in the book.
Aug 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally read suspense thrillers, or whatever the genre is called, but this one was quite a ride. The other 5 star reviews are right on from my memories of reading this (at least 12 years ago). The pages just fly by, and it's a roller coaster "what if" scenario.

Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-twice
My second read of this story. I first read it many years ago, but the memory of the story and especially the ending have stood the test of time, in other words, this is a story that has stuck with me so re-reading was in order. I initially rated this a five from memory, nothing has changed, it is still a five.

I enjoy stories that tell the overall story from many different angles, from different perspectives, and from different viewpoints, which of course lead to the final climax. The Berkut has
David Lucero
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This story takes place at the end of WWII. A group of Russian soldiers are ordered by Stalin to search for Hitler. Apparently the Soviet dictator does not believe the Facist dictator took his own life.

Heywood takes the reader on a very detailed, and very real journey through post-war Germany, and writes about the likelihood of Hitler managing to escape. He introduces familiar characters throughout the story, and this imaginative book is one of my favorites. If you enjoy WWII thrillers, you will
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book my junior year in college and it has lived on in my mind ever since. My dorm roommate (whom I'm still friends with) basically made me read it because he couldn't stop talking about it and I'm very glad he did.

I'm not going to give a summary or critical review because I would need to read it again since it's been two decades since the last reading. That said, it's on my re-read list and I'm sure it will be as intense now as it was then, maybe more now considering I've matured an
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone a fan of WWII fiction.
Recommended to Darin by: my Uncle Joe
Shelves: military-fiction
One of the best fictional books about WWII out there. It's a story about Hitler being smuggled out of Germany before the Third Reich collapses. He is helped by a top German commando and they are chased by Russian commandos determined to capture Hitler for Stalin.

Warning, there is some bad language and crude scenes, but they fit in-line with the story. I wish this book would be made into a movie.

May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book blew me away. Didn't think I'd be a fan of historical fiction, but I was loaned this book and didn't have much in the way of options so I gave it a shot. Glad I did!! I'm into characterization and this has it...and the skillful story-telling is hard to describe. A must read and makes a short list of favorites for me.

Dave Sippel
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a fast paced, exciting historical fiction novel depicting the faked death and escape of Hitler from his bunker. Aided by loyal SS members, Hitler is chased across Europe by Stalin's handpicked bounty hunters.The escape is made difficult by Hitler's own ego and refusal to cooperate with his rescuers.
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hitler lives! And it's up to a crack team of Russian commandos to track him through the ruins of post-WW2 Europe and kill him. THE BERKUT is chock full of action, adventure and includes a helping of voluptuous Nazi guerillas for good measure. High marks to Heywood's portrayal of a shattered continent. If you enjoy historical thrillers this is the book for you.
Tom Barnett
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Adolph Hitler died in the Fuhrer Bunker on April 30, 1945 -- or did he? The author does an excellent job of exploiting the circumstances around the death of Adolph Hitler. Heywood crafts a superb alternate reality as we follow the last days of the Thousand-Year Reich.
Lazar Stanojković
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Odlican primer istorijske fantastike, pogotovo WWII tematike. Kako mali ljudi, podanici i obozavaoci zude da ispune ocekivanja svojih vodja koji su sve osim onoga sto propovedaju.

A za nas Srbe omiljena tema, da li je Adolf sam okoncao svoj zivot ili mu je Vatikan pomogao.
Yvonne Ohumukini-urness
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Thrilling ride through 1945 Germany and Europe as brilliant minds track a fugitive Hitler who was on the run after faking his own death. The ultimate chase where there are only two outcomes; success or death.
Steve Kunitzer
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all-time favorite books. A historical fictional tale about Hitler escaping Germany after the war and being tracked down by Soviet agents. An action packed adventurous thriller. Easy reading, good characters, and plausible plot.
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the best historical fiction about WWII that I have ever read. It really makes you wonder what really did happen. Joseph Heywood wrote this is 1987. I felt like I was reading a Tom Clancy. If you like WWII historical fiction, find this book and read it!
Chris Turen
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is beyond great! If you can find it- read it. You won't be disappointed.
Della Falbo
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book numerous times, and enjoy it each time.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
A group of battle tested SS men extract Hitler from his bunker...but Stalin has sent his own hunter-killer group to make sure Hitler does not escape him. Great summer read.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
skupina ruskih agenata ganja odbjeglog hitlera preko epilog. Uzbudljivo.
Feb 20, 2011 added it
Shelves: fiction, war, z-1980-s
Read it - can't remember it - brought home to re-read.
Henri Moreaux
The Berkut is set world war 2 Germany at the immediate ending of the war and shortly thereafter. It's an alternate history book written around the loose facts known of Hitler's whereabouts at the end. In this book rather than commit suicide he escapes in an ingenious plan leaving behind a body double's corpse (hence the need to burn the corpse so it is unidentifiable).

The escaping party is then tracked by a specialist Russian force which is mostly what the book involves. Tossed in is an America
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The pages kept turning themselves it seems, as I was so enraptured and enveloped in the story. If your a history or WW2 buff, you will like this. The scenarios that are presented are actually very plausible. It made me think of what was really possible at the end of the war amid the chaos and the greatest migration known to mankind. I ended up reading the last chapter twice in a row. Something about that was fascinating to me, and, without giving away details, it really seems like something Uncl ...more
Srđan Mijatov
Priča je interesantna i spada u istorijsku špekulaciju, koja za motiv ima pretpostavku da se Hitler nije ubio 30-tog Aprila 1945-te. Priča je počela sjajno, sa interesantnim likovima i zapletom i sa solidnom dinamikom. Ali... Oko polovine knjige sam primetio da me na momente smara. Neki postupci likova mi nisu imali mnogo smisla (ni u momentu čitanja, a ni nakon pročitane cele knjige). Romanse u knjizi su nepotrebne. Postoji čak i cela, potpuno neporebna sporedna priča (sa svojim takođe nepotreb ...more
Feb 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't finish this book, it finished me. It's a rare occurrence that I can't grind my way through a book, movie, album, etc., if for nothing else than to give the artist a fair shake. I think the only other book I couldn't finish was Thorpe's The Detective. In that novel, at least, Thorpe was heaping on the psychology to the point of absurdity.

Here, The Berkut reads like a flatly written and clumsily-developed Clancy try. The only thing that gave this story a spark of life was Petrov and Fath
Dec 23, 2011 rated it liked it
It's shortly before the Fall of Berlin and SS officer Gunther Brumm is given one final assignment; save Adolf Hitler. It's an unusual assignment but Brumm is up for the challenge. Meanwhile, Joseph Stalin, obsessed with catching Hitler, sends out a group of Russian soldiers to go after Brumm and Hitler. Who will prevail? The Berkut was an average book, something to keep your mind thinking for awhile but it's not a must read, in my opinion. The topic of Hitler surviving World War Two is a popular ...more
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See also Joe T. Heywood

Joseph Heywood is the son of a career USAF officer. His dad was from Rhinecliff, New York on the Hudson River in Dutchess County, and his mother is from Mize, Mississippi in Sullivan County. His mother’s maiden name was Hegwood and she had only to change one letter to convert to her married name.

He is a 1961 graduate of Rudyard High School in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Chi
More about Joseph Heywood...

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“Waller was a sensible girl. She meant to shake off the American officer as soon as she could, and meet with Agent Werewolf and his friends in the woods. Germany was counting on them! Still, it seemed foolish to be afraid -- the American officer was only a woman, after all. What could one woman do to another?” 3 likes
“The freckle-faced corporal from Iowa grinned. "Geez, Major, whatever you gave that German broad last night sure got her talking. Was it some new Russian drug? Something from HQ?"

"That's my affair." Major Rosemary Wilson ignored the grinning boy and lit a cigarette, blowing out smoke as she gazed through the one way mirror. The German girl, Waller, looked pale and lost under the interrogation lights, but she was still exceptionally pretty. No doubt last night had been her first time with a woman. Still, Greta had been an enthusiastic learner, responsive and eager to please. The Major had every intention of continuing the girl's education -- once Werewolf and his Nazi pack were back behind bars.”
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