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Hunting Evil [Paperback]

Guy Walters
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 May 2010

At the end of the Second World War some of the highest ranking members of the Nazi party escaped from justice. Some of them are names that have resonated deeply in twentieth-century history - Eichmann, Mengele, Martin Bormann and Klaus Barbie - not just for the monstrosity of their crimes, but also because of the shadowy nature of their post-war existence, holed up in the depths of Latin America, always one step ahead of their pursuers.

The nature of their escape was as gripping as any good thriller. They were aided and abetted by corrupt Catholic priests in the Vatican, they travelled down secret 'rat lines', hid in foreboding castles high in the Austrian alps, and were taken in by shady Argentine secret agents. The attempts to bring them to justice are no less dramatic, with vengeful Holocaust survivors, inept politicians, and daring plots to kidnap or assassinate the fugitives.

Guy Walters has travelled the world in pursuit of the real account of how the Nazis escaped at the end of the war, the attempts, sometimes successful, to bring them to justice, and what really happened to those that got away. He has interviewed Nazi hunters, former members of Mossad, and poured through archives across the globe to bring this remarkable period of our recent history to dramatic and vivid life.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (27 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553819399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553819397
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Guy Walters is the author and editor of nine books, which include four wartime thrillers, the critically acclaimed Berlin Games and his latest work, Hunting Evil. With James Owen he co-edited The Voice of War, an anthology of Second World War memoirs. Shortlisted for the 2006 William Hill Sports Book of the Year and the NASSS's 2007 Outstanding Book award, Guy has been an author since he left The Times of London, where he was a feature writer and a commissioning editor.
His books have been translated into several languages, and Hunting Evil has been and will be released in the UK, the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Holland, France, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Poland and Romania.
Guy writes for a handful of UK newspapers and magazines, and is a frequent contributor to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2. He regularly gives talks to societies up and down the country. When he finds the time, Guy is currently working on his PhD at Newcastle University under the supervision of Professor Tim Kirk.
His wife, Annabel Venning, is also an author, and they live in Wiltshire in the southwest of England with their two children, William, 7, and Alice, 5. In his spare time, he is a keen player of croquet and pétanque. Further biographical information (most of it correct) can be found on the wikipedia.

Product Description


"First-rate" (Max Hastings Sunday Times)

"It is gripping and well documented, and deserves a lasting place among histories of the war." (Telegraph)

"The stuff of thrillers ... An enthralling book and a sobering one." (Patrick Bishop)

"Absorbing and thoroughly gripping . . . Walters proves emphatically that the reality of Nazi hunting is far more fascinating than the myth." (James Holland)

"Hunting Evil is a model of meticulous, courageous and pathbreaking scholarship" (Literary Review)


Hunting Evil is a model of meticulous, courageous and pathbreaking scholarship. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well researched, but badly written 24 Jun 2012
By Nicu
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
it is well researched, but not very well. the book takes super-long detours, is also often unfocused. great subject, great research but the book is undistilled. though if you get through the first 150 pages or so - it gets better.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
By Pablo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd never read anything by Guy Walters before, but, given his credentials as a historian/historical novelist, I anticipated a book with the readability of, say, Anthony Beevor. Far from it: this book is totally lacking in cohesion and fluency. There are several principal strands: the post-war evasion of justice of a small number of Nazis (Eichmann, Mengele, Barbie, Stangl, Pavelic are the main protagonists); the bureaucratic chaos immediately after the war and how this affected the hunt for Nazi war criminals; later attempts to capture these criminals; and collaborators with the escapees (principally the Vatican and Peronist Argentina). Major sub-plots are the demystification of the Odessa myth and the debunking of Simon Wiesenthal. The problem is that the author is incapable of organizing this material into a coherent narrative, and he spends the entire book hopping from one strand to another, often indulging in an over-attention to detail and excessive quotation which is at times tedious. In terms of genre, the author doesn't seem to have decided between dry academic treatise and entertaining historical narrative. In terms of objective/focus, it seems unclear whether the author's aim is to recount the story of the Nazis and their friends, or that of their pursuers and their problems, or simply give Simon Wiesenthal a thorough kicking. It is probably the last-mentioned area in which Walters is most effective.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A good book to read for anyone who takes an interest in the Holocaust/post WW2 era. However it felt like that at the end of every paragraph, the author had to mention the shortfalls of nazi-hunter, Simon Wiesenthal. If he could mention dislike for Wiesenthal a lot less, i would have found the book more enjoyable.I understand why he kept mentioning his name, but its far too much!
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77 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING ! EXCELLENT RESEARCH ! 30 July 2009
Guy Walters has written a masterpiece on a subject which had already been explored in the past, namely:the fate of those Nazi criminals who have fled from justice after the collapse of the Third Reich.What makes this book different from the others is the fact that what the authors sets the record straight about certain myths which were created along the years in respect to these fugitives.
Firstly, Mr.Walters destroys a sacred myth by demonstrating that the famous Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal was a blatant liar and fabricated much of his own past and his so-called success in hunting down 1200 Nazi criminals.In reality,the number was barely one percent of this figure.
It seems that Wiesenthal was an egomaniac and a big one and he always wanted to take credit for things he was not responsible for.
Then he examines another myth:that of the existence of the organization called 'ODESSA', whose purpose was to assist ex-Nazis everywhere.This term was nothing but an umbrella term for a number of such organizations-many of which are described in the book for the first time.
Mr. Walters has travelled the escape routes themselves, has talked to Nazi hunters and Nazi criminals in Rome and Vienna, has consulted many written and oral sources in many countries and the result is a fatastic book you will not be able to put down easily.
He describes famous cases of well-known criminals and their fate:Franz Stangl,Mengele,Eichmann,Ante Pavelic, who was the head of the Croatian puppet state;Klaus Barbie and former SD officer Heinz Felfe and the fate of Herbert Cukurs,the hangman of Riga, who was responsible for the murder of 30000 men,women and children.This last case is less known and reads like a thriller.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars too focused on Wiesenthal 30 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't finish this book yet but it seems the author has an personal "vete" against Simon Wiesenthal, it takes too long too much about the errors and mistakes of Wiesenthal and it doesn't improve the easy read of the book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ruined by author's bias 14 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Somewhere there's an excellent, dispassionate history of the hunt for nazi war criminals - sadly it's not here. I've seldom read a reputable history book with such an obvious agenda or with quite so much of what Wikipedia calls 'weasel words' - the text is littered with supposition, unsupported suggestion, unecessary implication and disingenuous statements designed to further the author's personal agenda.

The agenda of denegrating Simon Weisenthal at every opportunity weighs the book down, as the author drags the famous Israeli into any discussion, regardless of whether it's appropriate or not, and then puts the blackest possible spin on every event in the man's life. Even where Weisenthal demonstrably succeeded or was an aid to other Nazi hunters, Walters seems incapable of giving credit - prefering instead to play up the achievements of almost everyone else.

The sentence that sums up this book best? 'It is perhaps too cynical to speculate theat Weisenthal only contacted the Brazlians about [Nazi in hiding] Stangl in December 1966 to pull off a spectacular publicity stunt [for his memoirs published four weeks later'. Yes, it is indeed cynical so - since not a shread of evidence is provided by the author to back up the suggestion - why make the auggestion at all?

This book was praised to the heavens by the author's former colleagues as a jounalist, but it's hard to believe that any of them actually read it before coming to that conclusion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Impressive research obscured by lack of narrative and pace
I read Walters book about the Great Escape which avoids (just about) some of the issues with this book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Galgallo
Published 3 months ago by pedro filipuzzi
5.0 out of 5 stars a sad read...
Very sad to read how relatively easy it would have been to apprehend many thousands more of the vilest Nazi war criminals who were instead allowed to escape[e any manner of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. RM Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
Excellent book very well researched as one would expect from this author cannot wait for another book by him to come out
Published 10 months ago by Mrs P. A. Bonner
4.0 out of 5 stars An Entertainig Read
This book is quite a compelling read. I like the author's style of writing, it's written in a way that I consider to be both informative and interesting. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Byuts
1.0 out of 5 stars Short sightec, I actually met Mengele
This could be a replacement for Gerald Posner's book, but I am unhappy with it. I have been researching Mengele for some time, since when I realised I had met him,
I hoped... Read more
Published 12 months ago by reviewer
The main strand of this book by Guy Walters seems to the breakdown of the character of Simon Wiesenthal, and the fact that he appeared to be one of the greatest frauds that... Read more
Published 13 months ago by bibliophile
4.0 out of 5 stars hunting evil
This book Hunting Evil has a lot of stuff I have read in other books on this subject but there is a lot of stuff that is new to me . Read more
Published 20 months ago by drew bookshop
5.0 out of 5 stars Great place to start
An truly excellent, well researched and thought provoking book. Whether it's helping expose the post-War Allies sometimes blase efforts at bringing the very worst Nazis to justice,... Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by J. Evans
1.0 out of 5 stars Where Evil Dwells
An astounding piece of faction from an amazing author whose rich and vivid imagination creates a kaleidoscope of whimsy. Read more
Published on 26 Feb 2012 by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles
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