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Ostland Hardcover – 6 Jan 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 6 Jan 2015
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus NA (6 Jan. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1623658497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623658496
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,268,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A riveting read' Sport (Sport)

'A thought provoking account of an ordinary person's capacity to do evil ... a fascinating important book' Literary Review. (Literary Review)

'An ambitious and very powerful novel that reflects the ultimate incomprehensibility of the Holocaust' Crimetime. (Crimetime)

'An intriguing mix of detection, thriller, courtroom drama, fact and fiction' The Times. (The Times)

'Very rarely do books reach into your psyche and take root. Ostland came along and kicked my door down. A wonderfully thought-provoking novel. Educational, entertaining and emotive throughout ... a first class read by an author at the top of their game' Crimesquad. (Crimesquad)

'To simply label Ostland as a crime thriller would not only do a great disservice to the sheer power and scope of this novel, but would in turn devalue a book that truly encompasses the very best elements of both the crime and historical fiction genres. This is without doubt one of the most affecting novels that I have read ... not just a book that deserves to be read, but a book that also needs to be read' Ravencrimereads. (Ravencrimereads)

'This nightmare-inducing new novel stretches crime fiction to its limits ... a compelling read' Mail on Sunday. (Mail on Sunday)

'With subtlety and intelligence, Thomas joins the historical dots to produce a novel with plenty to say - eloquently - about the brutalising effects of the Holocaust' Guardian. (Guardian) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Thomas is a journalist and writer, who already has an ongoing thriller franchise under the name of Tom Cain, published in the UK by Transworld. Blood Relative will be the first book under his real name incarnation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Raven TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
To simply label Ostland as a crime thriller would not only do a great disservice to the sheer power and scope of this novel, but would in turn devalue a book that truly encompasses the very best elements of both the crime and historical fiction genres. This is without a doubt one of the most affecting novels that I have read, so much so, that at times I had to take a breath, emotionally undone by the, at times, harrowing depictions of one of the greatest evils perpetrated in the history of mankind, which is so strongly brought to the reader's consciousness. This is not a book that just deserves to be read but a book that also needs to be read...

From its deceptive beginning as a seemingly straightforward and compelling crime read, Thomas not only manipulates our emotions to the central protagonist, Georg Heuser, but then allows us to bear witness to the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime during the latter stages of World War II. Opening with the real-life investigation of a brutal serial killer, stalking the S-Bahn network, Heuser makes his entrance as a young idealistic detective, driven by an innate sense of morality in the hunt for a killer. At the close of the S-Bahn killer case with the apprehension of the murderer Heuser tries to come to terms with his encounter with "a genuinely evil human being" and that to enter the killer's mind was to "enter a world of violence, degradation and filth, a world without pity, morality, or any feeling whatsoever for his fellow human beings- a world with which I had nothing in common at all" and a sentiment of the young Heuser that remained in my mind throughout the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Prepare to be startled. The last book I read by David Thomas was 1995's "Girl"Girl, the light, smart, thought-provoking story of an accidental sex change! It's fair to say that Ostland is an entirely different proposition. It's a compelling - but categorically not an easy - read. In fact, there are times when you feel like it kicked you in the stomach, ribs and heart, all at once... and you want to be sick, especially if, like me, your Jewish family suffered this unspeakable history first-hand. But it is extraordinarily powerful and technically - with its parallel storylines some 20 years apart - cleverly-constructed. The compelling serial killer tale at the beginning serves as a fairly comfortable prologue and contrast to the astonishingly uncomfortable, factually-based horror story that unfolds, in tandem with the moral unravelling of Georg Heuser, the main protagonist and ultimate anti-hero, thereafter. This is the first book I've read in ages that I can't stop thinking, talking and even crying about, even two books on (am currently reading the very wonderful "Revenger" by Tom Cain and mourning the end of the series). Why would you not spend ten pounds to read Ostland? An astonishing work and all the more gut-wrenching for its documentary real-ness, this deserves to win every available gong and I hope one day to see it on the global schools curriculum for 16-18 year olds.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is, quite simply one of the best books I have read over the last year, i could not disagree more with the review that only gave it 3 stars. Don't get me wrong, at times the story telling does have some - minor - faults, but they are outweighed by a gripping stroy that takes you on a journey into the human condition and its dark side. The book tackles this subject well - how do apparently ordinary people become involved in such brutal, inhuman acts? This book kept me thinking about it even when I wasn't reading it. Based on true events it a gripping read, yes its harrowing, yes its brutal, but I think this book handles this subject with dignity and depth. I read a lot of historical books (mostly on the Spanish Civil War) but I still found this book fascinating.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a brilliant, heart-rending and utterly credible reconstruction of a reviled role in one of history's most horrendous events. For three days, I was unable to leave it alone; if I wasn't reading it, I was dreaming or imagining it. The fundamental dilemma - would I have done differently - is, perhaps, over-sold. But so carefully is the plot constructed that I found myself unable to answer the dilemma to my own complete satisfaction. A must read!
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel takes real events and weaves together the real and the fictional to create a thought provoking and haunting book. Georg Hauser was an officer of the Criminal Police and the SS and we follow his story, told mainly from his perspective, through two major events in his life. The first, as a young detective and the second as he is investigated for war crimes by the fictional investigators Max Kraus and Paula Siebert. Arrested in 1959, Hauser is a police chief and a man both popular and respected by his colleagues. Kraus and Siebert have a difficult task ahead to prosecute a man who, in 1941 Berlin, was involved in the investigation for the notorious S-Bahn murderer; the ambitious and keen right hand man to Wilhelm Ludtke, head of the Berlin murder squad. Most Germans believe that those being prosecuted for war crimes were just following orders; that they have committed no crimes since returning from the front and that they would prefer to forget the terrible events of the past.

Though the words of Hauser, we hear how he "grew up under the shadow of defeat" after the first world war. How, although never a party member, he thought the National Socialists represented a promise of pride and strength. Looking up to men, such as Heydrich, he longed not only to advance his career, but take a violent killer off the streets. However, the war meant that Hauser would not spend his time in Berlin and, although he arrived in the Reich Commissariat of Ostland as a decent young man, he "had left it a monster..." This novel asks what happened in Riga and Minsk during the years Hauser was there and what turned idealistic, normal young men into the killers of women and children - precisely the people he had sworn as a policeman to protect. At times, this is an unsettling read, but brilliantly done and wonderfully written. It would make a fantastic novel for book groups, with so much to discuss, and you will be unable to read it and remain unmoved.
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