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Das Tribunal
John Katzenbach
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Das Tribunal

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,234 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Second Lieutenant Tommy Hart, a navigator whose B-25 was shot out of the sky in 1942, is burdened with guilt as the only surviving member of his crew. Now he is just another POW at the fiercely guarded Stalag Luft 13 in Bavaria.

Then routine comes to a halt with the arrival of a new prisoner: First Lieutenant Lincoln Scott, an African American Tuskegee airman who instantly
Published June 1st 2002 by Heyne (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,234 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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May 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely no one
My files at work are corrupted; it’ll take the crack IT team days hours to straighten it out. So I re-wrote this review. Again.

There’s no party here unless you feel a tea party with your 95 year old aunt, who continually reminisces about having sex with Warren G. Harding whilst atop a llama counts as a good time. If so, I have just the book for you.

Things you can do with this book.

Use it prop up a shortened leg on a piece of furniture. It’s about an inch thick. 25.4 millimeters if you live in
Well, Hart’s War is another of those books which I’ve let languish on my book shelf for over ten years. I initially purchased it to read before watching the movie of the same name and when I watched the movie prior to reading, I lost interest in the book. This was an unfortunate decision as I was to discover. John Katzenbach’s writing is exceptional and his ability to create the atmosphere of the WWII POW camp, develop characters, create a first class mystery and leave the reader with moral ...more
Apr 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again I find myself conflicted. The story was compelling and I like the way he draws the characters; however, this book was 551 pages. So much could have been tightened up and I find his repeating of specific things to be irritating. (Do we really need constant references to his beloved watch given to him by the love-of-his-life: it seems to be in every other page?) That being said, I stayed up till midnight reading the last 100 pages because the story was so compelling. I think he needs a ...more
Sep 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Depressing book (And I mean depressing because the book is so bad it will put a sad face in every reader it gains). The story is kinda good, but it gets annoying VERY often. I do not recommend it to anyone, specially if you like to read about WWII (view spoiler)
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly outstanding book. It will put readers into the same mindset as To Kill a Mockingbird and also A Time To Kill. Also, if you haven't done so already, rent the video about the Tuskeegee Airmen. It was a fascinating book of war, legal battles, and racism. What a fantastic book!
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the movie, and the book is even better. I'm happier with the ending of the book than I am with the movie ending.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Couldn't put it down once it got going. It's basically a crime drama set in a POW camp during WWII.

1. Good main character. He cares about other people. He doesn't say he'll do this and that. He just does what needs to be done.
2. Good supporting cast. I didn't like that the author mentioned that this character or that character is "complex". It is true that the characters were multi-dimensional.
3. There are so many antagonists, you have no idea who to trust.
4. Great build-up
I picked up Hart's War expecting the standard WW2 Narrative, and I wasn't insanely disappointed in this regard. I wasn't able to finish the book and was never truly felt drawn into the story portrayed. The first 70 pages are only a build up without much context as to whats going to happen in any of them besides the final few when everything starts getting explained. Where I left off a court-case was about to begin (avoiding spoilers so i'm going to leave it at that). I don't know if that's what ...more
Carol Flatten
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was really a terrific read. It was chosen for book club by a member who had randomly picked up from the library and thought it would a good book to discuss.
The characters were extremely complex as perhaps prisoners of war would be. The plot developed very slowly (it was a very long book), that involved a murder and racial strife, both among the prisoners and from the Germans. It was indeed very suspenseful and hard to put down near the end of the book.
I loved it, but.
How many times do you need to specify that the watch is the one Lydia gave him, or that Fenelli is "the medic from Cleveland", or that Tommy and Lincoln's last names are Hart and Scott?
The numerous instances of "the black flier" annoyed me, too, but I assume that was perhaps a choice made to keep the point that Lincoln was black in mind.
Except...okay. We get it.

Anyway, I did enjoy the read, but then when don't I enjoy most WWII books?
Marsha Valance
One of my 10 best mysteries read in 1999.
Augusto Pellegrinetti
Unbelievable !!!!!!
Not good enough to be so long. (2.5/5)
Carol Ladwig
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Finished Feb. 22. 3.5 stars, even though the tunnel collapsed
John Bruni
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a theory that I might have to rethink. I'm of the opinion that when there's a book and a movie of the same story, whichever one you experience first is the one you're going to favor. More often than not I'm correct in this assumption.

Not this time. I saw the movie HART'S WAR a few years ago, and I enjoyed it. I picked up the paperback at a library sale, but I didn't get around to reading it until now (about 10 years later).

The movie makers were absolutely insane to not film this as it was
TheRLPL Rice Lake Public Library
Page Turner's met in May to discuss Hart's Wary by John Katzenbach. Overall rating was 3.75
Member reviews:

3.5 of 5
The beginning was slow to start, but once it got going, the plot became interesting. I enjoyed th characters."

3.5 of 5
"The word choice, sentence structure, and the way Katzenbach built up his characters was good. However, the technical errors, particularly wrong information about WW11 bombers, stopped me in my tracks. It was like nails on the chalkboard to have that crucial
Deyth Banger
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Another very brutal work. A lot of blood, a lot of dead people, just a picture of Second War. I can't get it why people keep on doing such stuff... this book is real example what's a world. Already there is and a film, one actor just playing in the film few days later hang on in his home, so far take it like he suicide.
YOu want this??
Innocent people die and many other people, the fight is between the goverment, that president and that, not between soldiers, not between some people which
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is not often that I give a book a rating of 5, mainly because I do not like the "amazing" description, but I really had to do it this time, because it was amazing! It took me a while to read this because I had some others that were due at the library so I kept putting it aside.
It was engrossing: the setting (a German POW camp) provided an interesting backdrop for a murder based on racial tensions and the way Katzenbach wove the elements together to create a most interesting trial by military
Margaret Goodlin
Great book. It takes place in a WW II concentration camp for captured Americans. When the first African American is placed there, all hell breaks loose.
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1999, "Hart"s War" is the story of a brutal murder of an American pilot that takes place in a WW II German prison camp. Accused of the killing is the lone black prisoner, a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. The plot focuses mainly on the efforts of a young U.S flight navigator who was enrolled in Harvard Law School before the war broke out and who is ordered by the American officer in charge to defend the accused. What follows is a tense, intriguing story of cold blooded murder, ...more
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Very good --- Story of a German prisoner of war camp for Allied airmen. A black Tuskegee flier comes to the camp and keeps to himself. Racial tension ensues and he is accused of murdering one of the other Americans. Trial is convened by the Senior American Officers and the deck is stacked highly against him. Tommy Hart is his defense attorney and does a good job with the case but it turns out that the American murdered was a necessary evil to set up an escape attempt by the rest of the American ...more
Shanna K
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I didn't think I would like this book. The long sentences and forced character traits got under my skin. But as the story picked up pace, I found that I was hooked and couldn't put it down. Overall I thought this was a great story and the characters did eventually feel more human. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially those interested in crime or WWII history. I am looking forward to reading another book by John Katzenback.
Carol Sama
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good story.

I enjoyed this book at every turn. The characters were all well developed, the legal case told in an increasingly compelling manner and no loose ends. I appreciate when we know what happened to all of the players. The prisoner of war camp is a depressing setting, but the story is real and has some uplifting messages about duty, survival, friendship and loyalty.
Linda Davidson
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book about prisoners of war in Germany during WWII. This was a well written suspense drama about a trial put on by the US officers within the camp against a black fighter pilot. Bigotry was rampant during the War, and this story is very powerful in describing the racism that so pitted the US prisoners against each other. This book beautifully portrays strong characters - pulls you in. I couldn't put it down.
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of the books I've read by this author, this is absolutely the best he’s written! Great characters and a very compelling plot in which a black WWII pilot is accused of murdering another prisoner in a German POW camp. A young law student is assigned to defend him, and soon discovers that all is not as it appears. Each man has -- and rises to -- an opportunity to save the other’s life, and they finally succeed in breaking the barrier of racial animosity that keeps the black man so isolated.
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Second Lieutenant Tommy Hart's B-25 is shot out of the sky in 1942. Burdened with guilt as the only surviving crew-member, he is held captive at Stalag XIII in Bavaria. Routine comes to a halt with the arrival of a black American airman; when he is accused of murder, Hart is expected to defend him." (From Amazon)

A good novel set in WWII POW camp.
Jorge Osorio
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw the movie some years ago but the book its completely different. This was the first ever Katzenbachs book I read. I have to say sometimes its a little bit boring but the complete angle is awesome because you can compare the life at a concentration camp in Germany during the WWII with the current life youre living, with all the good and bad things. ...more
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book tremendously! Forget that there is a movie about this book and just read it! I liked the descriptions of the prisoner of war camp, the tension of the trial, the description of the racism present at this time, Germans versus Americans, and who really is the bad guy! It also makes you think about the good of the large group versus doing something right for an individual.
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I was hesitant to read this not wanting to read another "fictional war novel". 50 pages or so into the book I realized that it very much more about crime-solving/court room/racial stuggles than war. Halfway through I found out it was made into a movie (2002), so I plan on seeing it soon, although I'm sure I will be somewhat disapointed in the film in comparison to the book.
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to understand what was happening when I started this book, but once I got into it, I got hooked. Complete with near-panic attacks during the tunnel descriptions, since it was so well written. I didn't expect any of the "twists" and I was shocked by the ending. Great book. Not a bad random choice off the shelf at my dad's!
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please correct the title and ISBN of this edition 1 2 May 24, 2015 06:26AM  

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John Katzenbach is a U.S. author of popular fiction. Son of Nicholas Katzenbach, former United States Attorney General, John worked as a criminal court reporter for the Miami Herald and Miami News, and a featured writer for the Herald’s Tropic magazine. He is married to Madeleine Blais and they live in western Massachusetts.

He left the newspaper grind to write books, racking up 12 novels so far,
“Belief is an odd thing for a defense counsel, Tommy. It is not necessary to believe in your client to defend him. Some would say that it is easier to not truly have an opinion, that the maneuverings of the law are only clouded by the emotions of trust and honesty. But” 0 likes
“Tommy was persuaded that the murder charge was buttressed by that antagonism, which, from the prosecution’s viewpoint, was probably ninety percent of their case. The bloodstains, being absent from the bunk room on the night of the murder, the discovery of the knife—all these things when taken together painted a compelling portrait. It was only upon examining each separately that the supposition unraveled somewhat.” 0 likes
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