“As moving as it is gripping. A winner on all fronts.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Heart-pounding…This is Gross’s best work yet, with his heart and soul imprinted on every page.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Poland. 1944. Alfred Mendl and his family are brought on a crowded train to a Nazi concentration camp after being caught trying to flee Paris with forged papers. His family is torn away from him on arrival, his life’s work burned before his eyes. To the guards, he is just another prisoner, but in fact Mendl—a renowned physicist—holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. And the other is already at work for the Nazi war machine.
Four thousand miles away, in Washington, DC, Intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum routinely decodes messages from occupied Poland. Having escaped the Krakow ghetto as a teenager after the Nazis executed his family, Nathan longs to do more for his new country in the war. But never did he expect the proposal he receives from “Wild” Bill Donovan, head of the OSS: to sneak into the most guarded place on earth, a living hell, on a mission to find and escape with one man, the one man the Allies believe can ensure them victory in the war.
Bursting with compelling characters and tense story lines, this historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely new and compelling.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This dramatic thriller unfolds against the backdrop of World War II, switching between the story of a Polish physicist languishing in Auschwitz and the American government operatives desperate to rescue him and use his knowledge against the Germans. Andrew Gross clearly feels strongly about the story and his characters, daring to dig deep into shattering emotions and displaying an impressive grasp of historical fact.
Bestseller Gross (Everything to Lose) revisits the horrors of Auschwitz in this harrowing, thematically rich thriller, which marks a significant departure from his previous contemporary suspense novels. In the spring of 1944, both the Germans and the Allies are pressing toward the transmutation of uranium into atomic weaponry that could win WWII. Gross postulates that the U.S. Manhattan Project, headed by Robert Oppenheimer and joined by renowned refugee physicists like Denmark's Niels Bohr, lacked one vital component but the Nazis have incarcerated the world expert in that area, Dr. Alfred Mendl, in Auschwitz. William "Wild Bill" Donovan, the head of the OSS, backs a near-suicidal plan to send a desk-bound Jewish intelligence officer, Nathan Blum, who escaped from Nazi-overrun Poland, into Auschwitz to rescue Mendl. Alternating between scenes of American hope-against-hope optimism and Nazi brutality, Blum's deadly odyssey into and out of this 20th-century hell drives toward a compelling celebration of the human will to survive, remember, and overcome.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Will leave you gasping for breath..
This book kicks you right in the teeth. Extraordinary. I have read all sorts of fiction and non-fiction about the camps, but this one is by far one of the most horrific and suspenseful ones ever because it gives you hope, takes it away, gives it back and then slaps you with it. The chess-playing scenes were nail-biting; any minute you expect something to shatter everything. You can almost hear the clock ticking; you’ll be holding your breath in fear.
This book was impossible to put down but impossible to read without an ongoing dread, fear, and constant hope that triumph is just around the corner. An exhausting book: spectacular, tragic, hopeful and depressing — simultaneously.
Wow. I just finished it a few minutes ago and I need a class of cognac and perhaps a few hours of watching The Office just to wind down from it.
This is a must-read, but be warned — it will grab you by the throat and leave you gasping for breath while haunting your dreams. This book burrows itself into your very humanity.
The One Man
Edge of my seat.
Great book literally kept me on edge of my seat.