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Fall from Grace Hardcover – Jun 1985

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Printing edition (Jun. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671436090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671436094
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,358,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

An American who has lived in Europe for over forty years, Larry Collins was a top newspaper man before turning to books in a fantastically successful partnership with Dominique Lapierre. They have been equally successful since going their separate ways.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Incredible Factual Fictional Account Of Events Behind D-Day! 15 Mar. 2004
By Jana L. Perskie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This extraordinary historical WWII thriller is the fictional account of a true story. "Plan Fortitude" actually existed. It's goal was to influence the decision making of the German High Command by supplying their agents and other Nazi information sources with disinformation. The men who conceived and executed the plan reported directly to Winston Churchill and few were privy to it, including the British and American Secret Services. The intelligence involved was and still remains one of the war's best kept secrets and without its successful implementation the Normandy invasion would have failed. Most of the men and women who gave their lives so that the plan, and thus the invasion, would succeed will never be recognized for their valor and patriotism. Without their sacrifices the world would be a very different place today.
Larry Collins, co-author of "Is Paris Burning?," another fictional factual account of the last days of the Nazi occupation of Paris, takes the reader deep into the world of espionage, deception and betrayal that paved the way for D-Day. The Allies knew that Hitler had enough tanks and troops placed strategically in France to overwhelm the Allies and prevent an invasion of the continent. Their best bet for success was to lead Hitler and his generals to believe that the invasion at Normandy was only a preliminary to the major event which would take place a few days later near Calais. Thus Hitler would keep the bulk of his forces in reserve for the shadowy Calais invasion, which was never to come.
To pull-off this deadly game, with the highest of stakes at risk, imaginary armies, barracks, vehicles and buildings were constructed - all resembling stage props from close-up, but not from the air. Cryptographers, spies, counter spies, double and triple agents were employed, and sometimes betrayed, tortured and killed by the Gestapo for the good of the Allied cause. Catherine Pradier, a highly intelligent and very beautiful woman of half French, half British parentage, wanted very much to do something to actively serve both her countries. Her godfather, a British peer, was able to pull the necessary strings to grant her wish. He would never have done so had Catherine not possessed tremendous strength of character and courage. Catherine was trained to be "dropped" into Occupied France and assist in the sabotage of France's German-run arms industry and cause as much chaos behind German lines as possible. At best, she could hope to do her job successfully. Worse case scenario, she would be captured, tortured and killed or deported to a German concentration camp. The British government's position was clear, "Women are entitled to join in the defense of our common beliefs as are men. The war is total, not restricted to men alone." And, in fact, women were better able to move around Occupied France than men. They were less suspect and they couldn't be swept off the streets and shipped to Germany for forced labor. Catherine's job was to function as radio operator and courier for a French resistance chief. The contact who first meets Catherine when her Lysander plane lands in a French field is an agent, code name Paul. His history of espionage and counter espionage is too complicated to do justice to here. The two are immediately drawn to each other, but clearly their professional duties and obligation to their country come before everything else.
Many of the large cast of characters are historical figures: Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Dwight D. Eisenhower, various generals, government officials, etc.. The research that Mr. Collins has done is phenomenal and makes the novel read like a journalistic account at times. The fictional characters are no less intriguing and some do take their point of departure, according to the author, from actual characters who did exist. The roles they played, the work they did, are similar to the work done by their real life counterparts in the war.
This is one of the best works of fiction I have read about WWII. I simply could not put this book down. The characters have depth and the events they were swept up in are thrilling, intense and terrifying. I was left with a feeling of disquiet when I finished the novel, thinking of the real men and women involved in the actual subterfuge, never knowing the critical importance of their jobs and efforts. Individually their stories are heartbreaking. However, without them the war could have easily been lost. Larry Collins brings all of this home in "Fall From Grace."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A great novel about WW2 and D-Day 26 Oct. 2009
By Bill Garrison - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like WW2 novels, Larry Collins' FALL FROM GRACE is a book to check out. Collins wrote the book in the 1980s, and died recently, but he has a long record of published best sellers about historical events. In this novel, he explores the incredible events surrounding D-Day in WW2 and the amazing efforts the allies took to conceal the invasion date and location from the Germans.

The novel is centered around Catherine Pradier, who the British send into Nazi occupied France during the days leading up to the Normandy invasion. The British want to use her. The Gestapo want to find her. The American wants to help her. Catherine is a great character as is her lover Paul, a French Resistance member responsible for running spies in and out of France at remote landng strips. Stromburg is great as the brutal Gestapo agent who thinks he has everyone fooled. But the best part is the historical context of the espionage that traded hands and changed the course of history.

WWII novels are great because they are about a romantic time, about a period where there was a clear cut right and wrong. Collin's writing is detailed, and at times jumbled as he switches character viewpoints almost every other paragraph. Still, it was easy to follow and a fascinating historical read. Another novel I'd recommend on the subject is Daniel Silva's THE UNLIKELY SPY, or several Ken Follett novels, including THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE.
This book is an excellent read, blending the best of a spy procedural with real history 5 April 2014
By shootn'scoot - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is almost a Roman a clef. There are a couple of key changes that an SOE buff like myself would spot. But they just make for a better story. I've been bitten by the SOE bug and have recently read several good books on the subject, especially pertaining to SOE(F) section. Larry Collins has told a great story. He uses enough tradecraft, telling details, and real events to good effect. He get his research and story telling just right. In the past I've found most historical novels as not worth the effort. Why read some novelist's pale effort to cash in on real red-blooded history. The writer usually can't deliver the goods. This novel is an exception to that rule.
Historical fiction at its best! 2 Sept. 2012
By Mouffette - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Larry Collins excels in his re-creation of Operation Fortitude, the plan to deceive Hitler as to the true invasion site of D-Day. What wondrous webs of deceit, betrayal, love and commitment are woven by this talented author. Fast paced, historical fiction at its best. The heroine, based on true profiles of French women of the Resistance, is unforgetable, haunting. Cannot recommend this more highly. Educational, thrilling, humbling. Another achievement for the author of "Is Paris Burning", the true story of the German General von Stoltitz who refused to follow Hitler's orders to annihilate Paris as the Allies drew close. Bravo!
Very good WW II espionage story 4 Jun. 2012
By Steve - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There have been many books written using the French Resistance as a backdrop, but this is one of the best I've read. Although it's a work of fiction, there are numerous references to actual people and events that help lend authenticity to the plot. Descriptions of deception techniques used on both sides of the conflict provide historical details that add to the overall intrigue and suspense. The author did a good job conveying the sense of constant danger for those participating in clandestine operations behind enemy lines.
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