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Garden of Beasts Paperback – 1 Jan 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (23 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340734558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340734551
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 3.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeffery Deaver is the Number One bestselling author of thirty-two novels, including the 2011 authorised James Bond thriller, CARTE BLANCHE, three collections of short stories and a non-fiction law book. A former journalist, attorney, and folksinger, he has received or been shortlisted for numerous awards around the world, including Novel of the Year from the International Thriller Writers Association for THE BODIES LEFT BEHIND, the Steel Dagger for Best Thriller from the British Crime Writers' Association, and the British Thumping Good Read Award. He was recently shortlisted for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Best International Author.

His most recent novels are THE OCTOBER LIST, a thriller told in reverse; THE SKIN COLLECTOR, a Lincoln Rhyme novel; and XO, a Kathryn Dance thriller, for which he wrote an album of country-western songs, available on iTunes and as a CD.

You can find out more about Jeffery on his website, Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter @JefferyDeaver.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Jeffrey Deaver's thrillers are united by his fascination with people doing what they are good at. Garden of Beasts is separated in time and place from his modern thrillers, but both of its heroes are supremely competent men. The shame is that they are working against each other. Gun for hire Paul Schumann is offered a chance to avoid the electric chair. All he has to do is go to Berlin for the Olympics and take out Ernst, chief of the bureaucrats who is building German's military might for Hitler. And in Berlin, honest apolitical cop Kohl finds himself on Schumann's trail without any idea of what he is up to. Deaver is as good here at what an intelligent policeman could do with limited forensic resources as he is in his series about contemporary high-tech criminalist Lincoln Rhyme.

Ernst, meanwhile, is caught up in the Third Reich's vicious infighting and hard at work at a particularly nasty and inventive scheme. This is a splendidly atmospheric historical thriller that wears its research lightly--it is also endlessly inventive in the twists and turns of its characters' movements through a society built on betrayal and sudden death. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.


The best psychological thriller writer around (The Times)

A cracking good tale that kept me glued to the page (Poisoned Pen)

'Deaver fans expect the unexpected from this prodigiously talented thriller writer, and the creator of the Lincoln Rhyme series and other memorable yarns (The Blue Nowhere, etc.) doesn't disappoint with his 19th novel, this time offering a deliciously twisty tale set in Nazi Berlin. The book's hero is a mob "button man," or hit man, Paul Schumann, who's nabbed in the act in New York City but given an alternative to the electric chair: to go to Berlin undercover as a journalist writing about the upcoming Olympics in order to assassinate Col. Reinhard Ernst, the cheif architect of Hitler's militarization, seen as a threat to American interests. a German spy onboard Paul's transatlantic liner grows suspicious and sends a warning to Germany before Paul discovers and kills him. Then in Berlin, Paul, en route to meet his contact, kills a second suspicious man who may be a storm trooper, setting Insp. Willi Kohl of the Berlin police, or Kripo, on his trail. Deaver weaves the three manhunts -- Paul after his target, Kohl after Paul and the Nazi hierarchy after Paul -- with a deft hand, bringing to frightening life the Berlin of 1936, a city on the brink of madness. Top Nazis, including Hitler, Himmler and Goring, make colorful cameos, but it's the smart, shaded-gray characterizations of the principals that anchor the exciting plot. An affecting love affair between Paul and his German landlady goes in surprising directions, as do the main plot lines, which move outside Berlin as heroes become villains and vice versa. This is prime Deaver, which means prime entertainment.' Publisher's Weekly

The most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world (Daily Telegraph)

A master of suspense (Guardian)

Deaver fans expect the unexpected from this prodigiously talented thriller writer . . . This is prime Deaver, which means prime entertainment. (Publisher's Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rory Morty on 15 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this read a lot, but I have several reservations. I definitely disagree with one reviewer here who states that this novel is well-researched. German translations are a big issue on this story, and anybody with a smattering of German, or who has spent some time in Germany, will notice them and be irritated by them. I am beginning to wonder if Deaver spent any time here at all. Too many "Ach's" for starters. You hardly ever here it in Germany. Nobody, no matter where they are from or what language they speak would call Alexanderplatz the "Alexander Plaza". And even if they did translate it, it would be Alexander Square, not Plaza. Many English-speaking writers writing about German language or expression make similar awful mistakes. I had a similar issue with Daniel Silva recently. Similarly, translating "Heil" to "Hail" became really irritating after a while, and these errors certainly detracted from my enjoyment of the story. Essentially, the novel appears poorly researched, which is sad, because the story has great potential, and the descriptions are otherwise quite good.
There are two main characters here, Paul Shumann, an American hit-man, who has fallen foul of the law, and is forced by the US government to work for them. It's a bit of an overworked idea in popular fiction lately, but it is nicely handled. Shumann is sent to Berlin to assassinate Reinhard Ernst, an important member of the Third Reich. Then you have Willi Kohl, a criminal police inspector, suffering under the Third Reich regime, where his powers are siginificantly curbed by Heinrich Himmler's security service. It was refreshingly nice to see a "good" German in a World War II story. All of this is set in the background of the Berlin Olympics. Overall, I recommend the book to any prospective reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By O E J TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
Set in Nazi Berlin over the course of a few days in July 1936 just before the Olympic Games, this thriller revolves mainly around mob hit-man and WW1 veteran Paul Schumann, who after getting caught is unexpectedly offered an escape by the highest of government sources - and the promise of a hefty pay-packet to go with the eradication of his criminal record. Sounds too good to be true, but the task given to him in order that he can earn such a dream ticket is to travel to Berlin to assassinate a Nazi king-pin named Colonel Reinhard Ernst - the man appointed by Hitler to oversee his party's militarisation and longer-term aims of expanding The Third Reich.

Hitler, Himmler and Goring have speaking parts in this fascinating tale, as does Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens, and if anything the real-life elements are the high points of Garden of Beasts. Having recently read another novel based in Germany just after WW2 (" The Aftermath" by Rhidian Brook) I dug out this Deaver novel that I purchased in 2005 but for some reason never got around to reading, despite having read about a dozen other stories by this same author. I was interested in Deaver's take on life in Germany under the rule of Adolf Hitler before the beginning of WW2, and while it is of course a work of fiction it does contain a lot of thought-provoking story threads and sub-threads that if anything make for more captivating reading than the main plot surrounding the fictitious Reinhard Ernst. As always with Jeffery Deaver there is at least one twist in store and the ending is not the one that I was expecting - his middle name is probably 'unpredictable'.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
Having picked up this book on the spare of the moment, not at all familiar with any previous works by Deaver, i did not really know what i was letting myself in for...but how exhilarated i became in this authors work as i trode through the pages of this truly superbly written book. I was completely encapsulated within the perfect pace and plotting, intriguing characters and many climaxing moments that Deaver presented. As with all the great books that i have read and really enjoyed, i struggled to put this book down once i had started and felt totally rewarded when i had finished. I could continue to give many details about particular aspects within this story, which at times were sheer brilliance in writing, but the best advice i could give anybody who is considering this book is just; "read it and find out what it is all about for yourself and YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!" I for one, will be definitely seeking other works by Deaver because if the quality of this book is anything to go by, then some great nights of reading are to come!
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By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
I don't normally like books of this type. Broadly, adventure/espionage(ish) stories with guns. It's by Jeffery Deaver, though, so I wasn't going to say no. A hit goes wrong for hired-gun Paul Schumann. He's caught red-handed by the government. Instead of throwing him straight into jail for an indeterminate period of, oh, roughly the rest of his life, they offer him an alternative: travel to Germany to assassinate Reinhard Ernst, and earn freedom. It's 1936, and Ernst is Hitler's right-hand man. While Hitler is viewed almost as an unstable madman, posing no realistic threat, Ernst is seen as the real danger; he's the man who is masterminding Germany's covert rearmamentation program.
Schumann travels by ship to Europe, and then onto Berlin, a city teetering on the edge of violent madness, and preparing for the coming Olympics in a few days' time. Despite the fact that the government has toned levels of policing down, and warned against "official" acts of violence lest the myriad foreign press happen by, there is still a heavy SS presence on the streets, and levels of fear among the population are high. But, then, as are levels of admiration for the new National Socialist Party. Into this confused city steps Schumann, and he begins his hunt. But, thanks to a German spy from the Atlantic crossing, the hunt is on for Schumann as well.
The bottom line here with this book (because why must it come at the bottom?) is that it's good but not Deaver's best.
I'm always heartened to see a new standalone from Deaver; they aren't restricted by the formula of his Rhyme series, which, yes, is excellent, but while the plots are exhilarating and unpredictable, the narrative mechanisms and basic devices remain the same from book to book.
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