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The Final Reckoning [Paperback]

Sam Bourne
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

4 Aug 2008

From the author of Number One bestseller The Righteous Men. How are hundreds of unexplained deaths, spanning the globe, connected to the last great secret of the Second World War?

Tom Byrne has fallen from grace since his days as an idealistic young lawyer in New York. Now he'll work for anyone – as long as the money's right.

So when the United Nations call him in to do their dirty work, he accepts the job without hesitation. A suspected suicide bomber shot by UN security staff has turned out to be a harmless old man: Tom must placate the family and limit their claims for compensation.

In London, Tom meets the dead man’s alluring daughter, Rebecca, and learns that her father was not quite the innocent he seemed. He unravels details of a unique, hidden brotherhood, united in a mission that has spanned the world and caused hundreds of unexplained deaths.

Pursued by those ready to kill to uncover the truth, Tom has to unlock a secret that has lain buried for more than 60 years – the last great secret of the Second World War.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (4 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007266499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007266494
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sam Bourne is the pseudonym of Jonathan Freedland, an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. He has written a weekly column for the Guardian since 1997, having previously served as the paper's Washington correspondent.

In the annual What the Papers Say Awards of 2002 Jonathan Freedland was named Columnist of the Year. His first novel, 'The Righteous Men,' was a Richard and Judy Summer Read and a Number 1 bestseller. His next two novels, 'The Last Testament' and 'The Final Reckoning' were both top ten bestsellers. He lives in London with his wife and their two children.

Product Description

Review

Praise for Sam Bourne:

‘The biggest challenger to Dan Brown’s crown … a highly charged, theologically accurate tale’ Mirror

‘Compulsive reading … successfully blends ancient teachings with the highly charged ways of the 21st century … bears all the hallmarks of a blockbuster’ Daily Express

‘The best thriller I’ve read in years’ Piers Morgan

'More readable than The Da Vinci Code – the sense of menace is darker and the characters more believable' Esquire

‘Sharper and vastly more authoritative than Dan Brown’ Telegraph

‘A gripping read’ Guardian

‘Immensely diverting … a pacy read, constructed with a crisp control of tension and narrative drive’ Observer

About the Author

Sam Bourne is the pseudonym of Jonathan Freedland, an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. He has written a weekly column for the Guardian since 1997, having previously served as the paper's Washington correspondent.

In the annual What the Papers Say Awards of 2002 Jonathan Freedland was named Columnist of the Year. His first novel, ‘The Righteous Men,’ was a Richard and Judy Summer Read and a Number 1 bestseller. His next two novels, ‘The Last Testament’ and ‘The Final Reckoning’ were both top ten bestsellers. He lives in London with his wife and their two children.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Sam Bourne's latest novel as at its heart the darkest event of the twentieth century- that of the Holocaust and its subsequent repercussions. Here fact and fiction are skillfully intertwined in a way that compels the reader to keep reading until well in the early hours. The dark subject matter, however, is what stays with the reader well after the last page has been read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Thriller - Based on Fact 21 Oct 2009
By Mr. Peter Steward TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Adventure thrillers don't come much better than this. Okay I know some people will read this and think it absolute rubbish but I'm not one of them. Perhaps it isn't cool to like this kind of book but it is undeniably well researched and I finished it in a little over a day, finding it hard to put down when I should have been doing other things.

I have always had this nagging question in my mind about the Holocaust about why the Jews never put up a fight and why they never really retaliated against the German nation at the end of the war. This book helps to show that indeed they did plot and retaliate.

Essentially it is the story of resistance. A seemingly innocent elderly man is shot and killed by a security guard at the United Nations building in New York. It looks like a dreadful case of mistaken identity. Slowly, however, details begin to emerge that show him to be anything but innocent.

There follows an intricate story that twists and turns and which is not only compulsive reading but thought provoking as well. This is the best Sam Bourne novel to date - less convoluted than his previous offerings.

My only complaint is about the corny and hackneyed relationship between the two main characters in the book. It seems Bourne is incapable of writing about main characters who aren't 1/ good looking and sexy and 2/ end up having an affair. It might be what the readers are expecting but it has become rather old hat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark exploration of a tough subject matter 21 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback
I found this book hugely compelling and it prompted me to buy the rest of Sam Bourne's books.

What impressed me the most was the subject matter that was explored. I found it fascinating and could not put it down - always learning something new and delving deeper and deeper into areas few people have the confidence and sheer nerve to write about. A fascinating read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and historically interesting 6 Sep 2008
By Helen Simpson VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
The Daily Mirror is quoted on the cover as saying that this is "The biggest challenge to Dan Brown's crown" and unlike another review (taken from the Jewish Chronicle) I see this as a compliment for the simple reason that both writers make you interested in finding out more when you've finished the book. Whether it be more about art and paintings, religion, or in the case of 'The Final Reckoning', the photographs of George Kadish.
Kadish was a Lithuanian Jewish photographer who documented life in the Kovno Ghetto during the Holocaust by constructing small cameras that could take photographs through his coat buttonhole.

Surely a book that inspires us to learn more about any subject has to be worth a read?

The novel itself begins well, and keeps a good pace throughout. Some of the plot 'discoveries' were over explained, which could be a bit insulting to the readers intelligence, and some of the plot developments could be anticipated (certainly before the two main characters anyway).
However the plot as a whole and the way the story moves between the past and the present worked well and the facts were obviously well researched.

Definitely worth a read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bourne keeps improving 5 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback
The Righteous Men and The Last Testament were entertaining, but flawed. I gave them both three stars. The Last Testament was an improvment over The Righteous Men, and with "The Final Reckoning", Bourne finally gets almost everything it right. At first I got the impression it might be a ripoff of The Odessa File, and there are similarities but also big differences, and I recommend them both. While "The Final Reckoning" is not as great as "The Odessa File", Bourne, like Forsyth, mixes past and present, fact and fiction, into a fast paced thriller. Like in his previous books, there are still some parts where obvious things are explained, and the romance seems a bit tacked on. But this time, it's not enough to distract from the enjoyment of the novel.

I recommend "The Final Reckoning" to fans of thrillers, and those interested in the Second World War and its aftermath (the same goes for The Odessa File, so if you haven't read that one, I recommend it too).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not living up to the hype 11 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback
After enjoying Bourne's second novel I had high hopes for this, but the plotting and research just got in the way of a proper thriller, and maybe Bourne's editor lacked the courage to slim down and tighten the narrative of this "best seller author" - a shame. The Final Reckoning really lacked the power, the tension and the pace of The Last Testament; a perfectly ok way to while away a few spare hours but not in itself worth picking up for a gripping ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad 16 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback
This is, for me, Sam Bourne's best thriller by some distance. I have read his previous two - The Righteous Men and The Last Testament - and was unimpressed with them. I started this novel with some trepidation and misgivings, not expecting to like it, but in the end I actually enjoyed it. Unusually for Sam Bourne, this novel does thrill and surprise. Unlike lots of other books in this genre, which offer alternative Christianities (or any other religion) missing manuscripts or relics, this novel deals with real events, real people. It is - dealing with the Holocaust and some Jews' wish to punish Nazi war criminals - also a tragic story, a story with morals and horror, it makes you care. I think, because it is based on the Holocaust and real events, that the novel works and the reader (I did) becomes more emotionally involved with the characters, not just with the Nazis' victims but also the modern-day ones too. Surprisingly for fiction, the novel does stick fairly well to real events.

I would recommend the book, not just for a thrilling story, but also if you want to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust and the Jews' bid for justice in a post-war world which saw only 24 Nazis convicted as war-criminals at Nuremburg.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally Great Customer Service
Order came within 72 hours - outstanding. Bought as part of the Sam Bourne books, I read one and now am hooked.
Published 10 days ago by ROSEMARY ROGERS
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok
Did not feel this was one of his best. Found it hard going to finish as the storyline did not keep my attention.
Published 13 days ago by krys whitechurch
5.0 out of 5 stars A tour de force
Bourne has achieved the impossible. He has created a really pacey thriller with three dimensional characters, nail-biting twists on almost every page and a powerful denouement. Read more
Published 6 months ago by teddy goldstein
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than Brown, not as good as Ludlum
A cop shoots an elderly man in the United Nations Plaza in New York, mistaking him for a terrorist. Lawyer Tom Byrne investigates the shooting and finds that the dead man, a... Read more
Published 24 months ago by David Gee
5.0 out of 5 stars The Final Reckoning
I have read all of Sam Bourne's books but this one was excellent. He has taken facts from history and woven them into his story. It is a book that will certainly make you think.
Published on 1 April 2011 by maggie
5.0 out of 5 stars Rattling good yarn
Wow! Absolutely gripping and entertaining, this is exactly what I hope for when I pick up a fictional book. Read more
Published on 20 Nov 2009 by Some Bloke
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Bourne to date by some distance
If you've read Bourne's Righteous Men and/or Last Testament and thought them good but not great, then try this, because it's distinctly better! Read more
Published on 20 Nov 2009 by Swicky
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
I stumbled on this in my local library. I did the usual read the back and thought it looks okay. What a great read! Finished it in four days. Read more
Published on 4 Oct 2009 by Mrs. K. White
3.0 out of 5 stars UN-convincing!
A fast-paced page-turner this one in the style of Dan Brown. A maverick lawyer and a beautiful doctor in a race against time to expose a Nazi war criminal. Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2009 by Billy Bookworm
4.0 out of 5 stars surprising ...
I've read a lot of non fiction lately and been into biographies and autobiographies in a big way - this was my first bit of fiction in years - borrowed from a friend on a few days... Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2009 by Chris Miller
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