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review 2018-01-15 00:47
The story lacks credibility!
The One Man: The Riveting and Intense Bestselling WWII Thriller - Andrew Gross

The One Man: A Novel-Andrew Gross, author; Edouardo Ballerini, narrator

A young Jewish man escapes from Nazi occupied Poland and resettles in America. He discovers that his entire family has been wiped out by Hitler and is consumed with guilt because he escaped, while they did not. When he is asked to volunteer for a very dangerous “top secret” mission, he believes it will be an opportunity to redeem himself, and he agrees. Franklin Delano Roosevelt has personally thanked him for accepting this assignment.

Nathan Blum is tasked with sneaking into Oswiecim, in Poland in order to secretly enter the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The Americans want him to extract a scientist, Alfred Mendl. He is a physicist who might be able to help them develop the atom bomb before the Germans succeed in the same effort. A qualified team has already been assembled, and he is the final missing piece. Essentially, it sounds like a suicide mission because no one who enters Auschwitz ever leaves alive, let alone

Blum is dropped into a forest in Poland and secretly joins a work force when it returns to the camp. He has three days to complete the mission. He witnessed, first hand, the terrible suffering of the prisoners and the almost impossibility of surviving in the brutal environment of the camp. Hitler’s minions were sadists who had no compunction about inflicting pain or death.

Into this mix came a romance that was difficult to believe, between the Commandant’s wife and a teenaged boy, Leo. Leo was a fabulous chess player and was gifted with a fantastic memory. He happened to be the camp chess champion. The Commandant’s wife was a lover of chess and soon had him brought to her home for afternoon matches. An unusual friendship developed. When Mendl discovered Leo’s ability to memorize everything, he decided to teach him his formulas. The Nazis had destroyed his work, not realizing its importance. He wanted Leo to commit all of his formulas on fusion to memory. They had destroyed his notes and this was his only way to preserve them.

When Blum found Mendl, which was difficult to believe since the inmates did not answer to a name, but instead to a number, he attempted to explain his mission to him. Mendl had some trepidation about the plan; he did not want to agree. When he finally did, he had one condition. He would only go if he could take Leo with him. The ensuing conversation turned the tide of the escape because when Nathan made a shocking discovery, he was reminded of Mendl’s words. He had asked Blum about what type of person would leave their flesh and blood behind while saving themselves. Blum was faced with a huge predicament.

The book took a bit too much melodrama. The excessive number of twists and turns made it tedious much of the time. The author seemed to be trying to create far too much tension. Every time the reader thought a turning point had been reached, something would happen to stall the momentum. An incredible tangent might be created or another near miss would occur that prevented the successful completion of the task. In the end, there were simply too many diversions in the book for the pace to remain steady. After awhile, it did not feel authentic because even a minor student of history would be aware of the horrors of the Holocaust and its eventual outcome. Creating a fiction around it that seemed implausible simply didn’t work that well. The reader would know that it could never happen the way it was presented. In addition, the plan seemed to be doomed to fail because no one could cheat death so many times during that period in history. It was luck that kept some people alive, but when would luck eventually run out? The only thing that really kept me interested was the question of Bloom’s success or failure, but it took too long to get there.

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review 2017-05-25 23:58
3rd Degree
3rd Degree - James Patterson,Andrew Gross

I like how there is never a dull moment in these novels, from the moment I start reading the first page there is something relevant to the case transpiring before me and I can’t wait to get back to the novel. I inhaled this novel in one afternoon and was deeply sadden when it ended because of how it ended and I will get to that in a bit. This novel is one in a series but I don’t feel that you need to read the previous books in this series to enjoy this novel but you should know that there is a group of professional women who gather together, organizing their resources to try to solve the crime that has been committed hence, The Women’s Murder Club.

 

After her morning run with her dog, Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer was headed to Starbucks, when the townhouse that she has always admired, explodes. As the scene is being examined, Lindsay notices a mysterious backpack outside the townhouse. What is inside the backpack, has the team discovering that this fire was a planned, targeted attack and not an accident. Inside the townhouse, they had found the bodies of a mother, a father and a housekeeper but they did not find the 6-month old baby that supposedly lived there. Where is this child and why were they targeted? Meanwhile, the bomber has watched his bomb go off with satisfaction and the au pair is in a hotel room changing her appearance, everything is going as planned. Fast forward to a new day, the scene is a penthouse suite. She promises him that the drugs she is about to give him, will make him ready for her. Little does he know what she has in store for him. It doesn’t take long before he is speechless, he is so stupid and gullible, it was almost too easy. She shoves a piece of paper in his mouth, the public will now know that the August Spies are in town. The August Spies cast demands upon the people and they better listen or there will be bodies, dead ones, every three days until their demands are met. The August Spies are not people to be messed with.

 

Detective Lindsay needs to call together her friends to discuss this latest case. Chief D. A. Jill, Medical Examiner Claire, and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy gather together as Lindsay updates them and they discuss their next steps . It’s great to see each of these women bringing their expertise to the table, collaborating together to solve the case. As the August Spies keep true to their word, their victims get a bit too close for me and this novel ends on a sad note. What continues for these women will yet to be seen and I can’t wait to see what happens in book four.

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review 2017-03-13 21:47
2nd Chance
2nd Chance - Andrew Gross,James Patterson

After solving the last case in book one, Lindsay made homicide detective. She is now the first female homicide detective in San Francisco and the department’s first female lieutenant. She is extremely proud of herself and knows what this means for herself and her future. The women that she pulled together in her investigative club are proud of her accomplishment and this Women’s Murder Club is still together as they are on another case in the second book of this series. I liked this second novel more than the first as I thought it was more twisted and had more depth than the first one. The characters were more sinister and dark and I liked that. The Women’s Murder Club had to dig deeper and imply and untangle more of the clues more than have the facts jump right out at them.

 

The drama is continuous in this novel as the story opens up with a shooting at a church that is located in a predominately black section of town. It is initially thought of as a random shooting but as they close in on the details, things don’t look random at all. There is another death and Lindsay is back trying to connect the cases together. Things are looking hopeful and Lindsay calls the Women’s Murder Club into the action. The ladies are quick to fill in the details and the case is narrowing in on the suspect. Oh, they had the suspect locked in tight and all was certain but it’s never final until all your I’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed and that is what is bothering Lindsay in this case, somethings are just not matching up. There is drama within the Women’s Murder Club now too as one of them prepares for motherhood and one of them decides to start dating. They all have advice for one another and they all are there for one another, which is a great thing about having women for friends. It’s a code of silence, this ability to keep quiet as a killer stalks the neighborhood, as the police are conducting their own investigation, their own private club that no one else knows about. I am enjoying this series.

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review 2016-09-10 00:00
The One Man
The One Man - Andrew Gross This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

This was a different kind of story. One that I really could not have imagined. I have read quite a few books written or co-written by Andrew Gross so I thought that I knew what to expect when I picked up this book but I was completely wrong. This book was so much more. I would have never even dreamed that a fictional mission set in such a vivid and horrible historical event could have even worked...but it did.

This story is set during World War II with the majority of the book taking place inside Auschwitz. Despite the fact that this was a fictionalized story, there were parts of this book that were hard to read because of how realistic it was. There were moments in the book that honestly made my heart hurt. I thought that the parts of the story where we were really in the head of Alfred were some of the most powerful and emotional.

Nathan Blum is a Jewish man who left Poland and now lives in the United States. He has been working in military intelligence but he is offered a very dangerous mission. The military wants him to go into Auschwitz and escape with one very important man. He agrees even though the odds are completely against him. Nathan proves to be not only incredibly brave but also very resourceful as he proceeds with his mission.

Alfred has no idea that anyone may be trying to help him escape. He does know that he has very important knowledge that needs to be shared with the world. He meets a younger prisoner, Leo, who he feels is capable of learning and sharing this information when he is gone. The men form a bond as they spend time with each other and we do spend time with each of them at the camp.

This was one of those stories that I really wasn't sure how things would end. I was really nervous as Nathan tried to complete his task at the camp. So many things could go wrong and they often did. There were a few complications and twists that I didn't see coming. This ended up being a heartbreaking and exciting story.

I would recommend this book to others. I think that Andrew Gross did a fantastic job of creating a exciting mission inside of a well known historical event. I have enjoyed his work in the past but with this book, I think he has moved on to a whole new level. I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

I received an advance review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

Initial Thoughts
This was very good. Twists that I didn't see coming wrapped up inside a powerful story.
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review 2016-08-21 23:48
The One Man: A Novel - Andrew Gross

This was my first book with Andrew Gross as the only writer. The other one or ones, he co-wrote with James Patterson. I have to tell you, my anxiety medicine was working double overtime. What an excellent book this was. I was mesmerized from the very beginning and the fascination never ended. As a matter of fact, if there were more pages, I would still be intrigued.

I love WWII stories and this one certainly fit the bill. Who breaks into a concentration camp? I mean seriously. This was a very well written story with great characters who you either loved or hated depending on who your talking about. What a horrible, horrible time and what a GREAT story this was that came out of that time. I seriously didn't know that two people actually escaped, so educational as well!

I missed watching last night's Olympics (thankfully they are recorded) because I just could not put this book down. It was riveting and had my heart beating like 300 beats a minute (okay maybe a little exaggeration - but you get my meaning) and I carried my Ipad with my face stuck in it for hours, not wanting to put it down. I loved this story!

Huge thanks to St. Martin's Press for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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