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The Black Sun

(Tom Kirk #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,842 ratings  ·  81 reviews
It is a secret that has been hidden for more than a half century…The clues have been scattered across the globe. Now someone has begun to piece them together—and the future of the world depends on his being stopped in time.

In Maryland, a vicious gang breaks into the National Cryptologic Museum and steals a Nazi Enigma machine. In a London hospital, an Auschwitz survivor is
...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published December 12th 2006 by Harper (first published 2006)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,842 ratings  ·  81 reviews


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Sandie
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who enjoy historical fiction and spy thrillers
The Black Sun provides everything readers crave in a historical mystery: entertainment, suspense, a vicarious trip to previously unexplored venues and, finally, the enjoyment of experiencing a writers' magnificent "spin" on historical events.

Even if you are not a fan of thrillers that relate to events and occurrences circa WWII, this book will make you one. While other authors may have already explored some of the subjects put forth in this endeavor (The Hungarian Gold Train, the strange goings
...more
Josh
Apr 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now this is how you do an action-adventure thriller! "The Black Sun" is a furiously addictive read that plows forward towards an exciting conclusion full of double crosses, plot twists, and page after page of escapes and narrow misses. So much fun.

The main thrust of the story is the search for the Amber Room which supposedly vanished at the end of World War II as the Nazis were trying to hide a train filled with stolen items from Jewish concentration camp prisoners. The book by James Twining in
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Lata Shettigar
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: the-worst
I am tired of these typical 'treasure hunt' novels linking some historical event (here WW 2, Holocaust), extremely clever protogonists, dumb antagonists and meaningless ideologies and conspiracy theories. Really amazed that the anti-heroes are quite clever to manage to get all the historical significant information, but they need help of the heroes to complete the puzzle. Incredulously, the heroes are able to decipher the code within minutes!
This statement holds good not only for this novel, bu
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Kirsty
Feb 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This, for me, was not as readble as some of the other books I've read in this genre. The plot itself was interesting, and there are some good twists, but I felt that this book lacks something. There are some slow parts, and I found myself unable to connect with the main character - I just couldn't really like him. An ok read, but I wouldn't recommend it above others in this genre.
Jon Mamaril
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
...like James Twining's first book "Double Eagles,"
this novel's plot had a lot of promise going for
it. Definitely good plot, good beginning but not
so great ending. Down-turn for this novel began
(for me) just about midway into it, and completely
ran out of steam 2/3 into the book. ...finished
the novel just for the sake of finishing it.
But I wouldn't recommend it to any of my friends.
Tiffany
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the loosely related second book to The Double Eagle. The book is about a former art thief is who led on a hunt for Nazi paraphenalia, which eventually leads to murder and the discovery of a secret group of Nazi SS knights from WWII. The story takes place in present-day. I love the history displayed in this novel with the WWII theme. A very fast-paced story and a quick, interesting read!
Chris Wright
Nov 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Another great book in the Tom Kirk series. The Amber Room is fascinating and good to see the consistency in characters bringing back what i'm a fan of.
John
Fantastic... Tom Kirk is back...

Loved this... but not quite as much as Double Eagle.

Still a great read in its' own right though.
Hildy Peterson
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, listmania
Grade: D+

Exciting but implausibility ruined it.
Karyn Weitl
Apr 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this one 4/19/08- both of the books I've read by this author were great! I had to stay up until I'd finished them- I really hope he's writing some more.
Lazar Jovanović
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Hmmmm... This book was unexpectedly hard to go through. I found the subject very interesting and the start was quite good, but the outcome was not so good as I wanted it to be. It was constantly missing a little bit more of characterisation and sense of something personal. The characters seemed pretty distant from the stories, and most of the time I had the impression it was just plain action and nothing else. Goes up to the three stars as far as I am concerned. This could have been a lot better ...more
John-Michael Lelievre
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tom Kirk is back, this time getting wrapped up in a mystery concerning the Nazi's Hungarian Gold Train and the Amber Room.

After a series of seemingly related thefts, Tom Kirk is globetrotting again, trying to keep ahead of his once-friend, Harry Renwick. He teams up with some new allies to help him along the way, trying to keep The Amber Room out of the wrong hands, but are things as they seem to appear? Or is there more to the story.

I enjoyed this one almost as much as the first Tom Kirk adven
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Anna
Apr 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Corny and not particularly engaging. I just didn't care about any of the characters.
Brian
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nazis, secret history, occultism, art history, and the fabled Hungarian Gold Train. What's not to like?
Mavis Hewitt
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
So many characters & so many places, a good read, but by the end I'd lost who most of them were, still not sure where the 'main villain' fitted in!
Helen
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Exciting, fast paced and easy to read
The Abibliophobic  Guy
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
What can I say? I liked it. I liked it a lot.

The plot line was... eventful, to say the least, and managed to twist reality so well to make you question what actually happened in the past. In this way it was a perfect historical thriller, in which, just like in Dan Brown's Da Vinci code, I found myself believing the spiel I was being fed.

The characters also developed brilliantly from the first book, and while I was a little bit disappointed with Viktor who seemed to be a throw away character - d
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Jason Pettus
Nov 25, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: weird, contemporary
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com].)

Okay, I admit it! I'm a sucker for Hidden Secret Nazi Gold Action Adventure stories! What can I tell ya, man -- I like millions of other Americans can't get enough of them crazy fascist secret-society obsessives, and all their supposed billions of hidden money and art and treasure all over the world at the end of World War II, lots of which is supposedly still hidden and un-recovered. And thus do we get to Briti
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Ken Prescott
Dec 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
aoi aka
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This was a slow book at first, but the plot started to move along pretty quickly after everything was in place.

The thing that attracted me to read this was the big Iron Cross on the cover. The story is about a former art thief named Tom and it involved the theft of a painting, the death of an armed guard to steal an Enigma machine and the search for something that turned out to be not what we all thought it was throughout the book.

This is the second book in a series. I didn't read the first one,
...more
Jason
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it
This is one of the series of books that became popular after the Da Vinci Code made the genre go a bit crazy. Comparing this to Dan Browns books the writing is much better and the plot is developed better, but it is missing something, the puzzle doesn't grip you as much and the main character is not as interesting. The Black Sun does feel more grown up as there is greater violence, limbs being stolen from Auschwitz survivors being one example.

One of the most interesting things mentioned in this
...more
Tim Pendry
Jun 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller
A quick read and an unmemorable thriller - basically a treasure hunt with the usual Nazi and Russian gangster cliches and characterisation by numbers BUT Twining writes crisply and each very short chapter (at least in the first two thirds) ends on a cliff-hanger that demands you read the next one until the creativity is finally overwhelmed by the formula in or around page 366 of 575. But, if you want to be entertained and not think, why not ...

Kerry
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it
The book runs nicely expanding and developing the main characters set out in book 1 with the exception of Jenifer.

I felt Victor was a strong character who could have gone further, perhaps reappearing in further books and it seems to me a sad to have invested in her charter just to lose her.

The plot is the nice combination of action/thriller with a historical underpinning and I already have the next book lined up ready to go.

Anne
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: thriller fans
Why would a vicious group steal Nazi era. enigma machine? And what would a vicious murder of a Holocaust survivor in a London Hospital have to do with it? Then a seemingly worthless painting is stolen from a Prague Synagogue. former art thief Tom Kirk is asked to investigate. He finds the trail leads back to an enigmatic group of elite Nazi leaders whose symbol is the Black Sun. As he races around the world for clues, Tom must search while his life may be at stake. A good thriller.
Allan
Oct 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
In the search for a painting by an obscure artist, we get led into a Nazi conspiracy that started at the end of World War II and involving a secret sect, the CIA, Russian Mafia and a treasure hunt for Nazi loot.

A reasonable read and ideal airport lounge fodder. Almost but not quite a follow up to the previous novel, it does expect you to know a little of that plot but not so much as you can't enjoy this without it.
Stephen
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacob Tourigny
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
In the Black Sun we see the mystery involving Tom Kirk, an ex art thief, as he tries to find a lost train car containing what was believed to be the lost amber room. While it is fiction it does provide some fascinating ideas involving the ex nazi party and what is the common idea about what happened to the room in real life. I would recommend this to anyone interested in a good mystery book.
RumBelle
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Well, this book was great up until the end when the author wrapped up the plot by introducing an element that was never mentioned before! It was a little ridiculous, like he got to the end and didn't know what to do so he just invented something out of the blue. The art, and history were really interesting and the characters were great. The ending was lame though.
Anna Reed
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
A poor man's DaVinci Code. You've got murder, intrigue, looted nazi goods, and Holocaust survivors all tangled in a storyline which attempts to be clever and surprising, but which actually ends up a bit disapointing. Good for whetting your appetite to dig for more info on war-time looted goods though.
Tony Totev
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I love the first book and I was expecting this one to be good too. And it proved to be just by the very first couple of dozen pages. Tom Kirk's adventures are so thrilling and exciting. I must say this book is in the style of The da Vinci Code, but it is not so fast paced which is not making it less exciting! Very good one and I am eager to read the other 2 from the series.
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James Twining was born in London but spent much of his childhood in Paris. After graduating from Christ Church, Oxford with a first-class degree in French Literature, he joined the investment bank UBS, working in their corporate finance division. In 1999 he left to set up his own company and in 2001 was named as one of the eight 'Best of Young British' entrepreneurs in The New Statesman. James liv ...more

Other books in the series

Tom Kirk (4 books)
  • The Double Eagle (Tom Kirk, #1)
  • The Gilded Seal (Tom Kirk, #3)
  • The Geneva Deception (Tom Kirk, #4)