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The One Man
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August 2018: Espionage > The One Man - Andrew Gross - 4*

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Elise (ellinou) Alfred Mendl is a physicist, possibly the one man who could help the Americans shave off half a year on the creation of the atom bomb. Unfortunately, all efforts to get him out of Poland have failed, and he is sent to Auschwitz. A last-ditch effort is set up, sending a young refugee into the death camp with the sole purpose of getting Alfred Mendl out. He has three days in which to find him, if he’s even still alive in there. The story is told from the points of view of multiple characters, keeping it from being too stale and covering many aspects of the camp, from inside and outside.

Ironically, it started almost the same way as The Nightingale, which I’d just finished reading, with a little chapter set in the present, without saying which character it was, before going back to the war. I liked this little gimmick a lot this time, since there was a number of characters it could have been, and so we were left guessing until the end which one it was–which one had survived the war. It was suspenseful and I very much enjoyed how everything was handled.

The only thing I disliked was the ending, with the Nazi’s wife, I found it a bit “deus ex machina.” As well as being a tad cliché, the wife who doesn’t like what her husband is doing and does good things behind his back. I know it was very necessary to this story, but I feel like for once some other way than the wife of the bad guy could have been found.

Also the physics explanations were a bit dry, but thankfully there weren’t that many of them.


Booknblues | 6886 comments I enjoyed this one as well. He does historical suspense very well.

I liked his The Sabateur a bit more.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Love your review. I have not read him but it sounds like a great book. I love that it had some suspense. I'm adding it to my ever growing TBR list.:)


message 4: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6406 comments Andrew Gross is the special guest at the Murder & Mayhem in Milwaukee gathering this November!


message 5: by Jeremiah (new)

Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments Rachel wrote: "Love your review. I have not read him but it sounds like a great book. I love that it had some suspense. I'm adding it to my ever growing TBR list.:)"

One thing is for sure, this is the wrong group to be in if you don't want your TBR list to grow. So many great reviews.


Booknblues | 6886 comments Book Concierge wrote: "Andrew Gross is the special guest at the Murder & Mayhem in Milwaukee gathering this November!"

Oh that should be fun!


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

J.W. wrote: "Rachel wrote: "Love your review. I have not read him but it sounds like a great book. I love that it had some suspense. I'm adding it to my ever growing TBR list.:)"

One thing is for sure, this is..."


Boy is it! Amy warned me my list would explode and it has.


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael (mike999) | 569 comments Nice review to add to BooknBlues nudging me on this one awhile back. We both shared the joy of Sabateur.

It turns out he has been prolific. Making it possible for me to pick up three more at book sales. Stocking up for a rainy day.

So slow on the draw on me doing my reviews for the two I read for the tag. I can recommend highly Red Sparrow as a spy tale in the new Cold War with Russia.


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