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The Peenemunde Deceptions Paperback – 17 Jan 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Claymore Press (17 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781591733
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781591734
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

James McDermott is a history enthusiast and decorated writer. His previous publications include Martin Frobisher:Elizabethan Privateer (Yale University Press, 2001) which won the Keith Matthews Prize from the Canadian Nautical Research Society, 2001; The Third Voyage of Martin Frobisher to Baffin Island, 1578 (Hakluyt Society, 2001), short-listed for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography, 2001; England and the Spanish Armada: The Necessary Quarrel (Yale University Press, 2005); British Military Service Tribunals, 1916 - 1918: 'Avery much abused body of men' (Manchester UP, July 2011).

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Sutherns on 25 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback
The settings is fascinating enough for a thriller, so my expectations wre high. They were more than met.
The plotting is complex, and without spoiling,the clue is in the title being plural. The infighting between the various facets of the 3rd Reich are as intricate and believable as the story in Deighton's fine "SS-GB". The paranoia, the small cog being dropped into a very large machine, which has total indifference to the fate of individuals, echoes Fatherland (and Enigma!).
Which brings me to the writing. Deightonesque. A world of comment and reference in a short sentence. Not necessarily essential to the plot, but for building the protagonist's character and world weariness. Occasionally expanded afterwards if you missed it (and it was important), often not, if an author's game.
One fine moment when Fischer realises the scale of what's he's been dropped into is illustrated by a tall story about the speed of elevators in those American skyscrapers boasted about before the War. The floor dropping and the sense of free fall. As an ex-paratrooper, Fischer is familar with that feeling.....all that remains is for the consequences to appear as he knows they will surely do so, real soon.
More please Mr McDermott, and soon!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grahame Underwood on 26 Oct 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First class. I am not one for detective stories usually, and I was attracted to this book by the assumption that it would be a tale of military/scientific history. But I was wrong - and delighted to be so. The main character, Otto is flawed, both psychologically and physically, having extreme battle wounds and disfigurement. He is sent on an investigation for reasons that he doesn't understand, (and no-one will enlighten him) and finds many difficulties on the way, which he faces with wry humour, eventually enlisting the help of an old colleague who is a nicely balanced character and has his own set of wounds. All this takes place at the secret establishment that was developing the V2 rockets used to attack England and other countries, masterminded by the famous Wernher Von Braun, who went on later to work on the US space programme. We don't see much of Von Braun and the rocketry is firmly in the background. To the fore however, is the complicated framework of Nazi Germany with its many different agencies and their mutual suspicions. Several of the characters involved were real, as the author admits in a postscript.

The story is excellent on so many different levels: the plot is carefully crafted and though complex, is not intricately so and it remains intriguing to follow without any of the frustrations that can arise in some other detective mysteries; the characters are well formed and consistent, relating well to their place in the tale and the times; the dialogue is outstanding, being relevant, informative and containing enough irony - banter even - to entertain without straying into flippancy; and the historical descriptions have an utterly believable flavour from what we know of the period. The mystery is also first rate and we are genuinely guessing right up to the last page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim62 VINE VOICE on 18 Nov 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyable period piece. If you like your gumshoes Chandleresque and world-weary - then step forward (or should that be limp forward) Otto Fischer. A hero of Nazi Germany, complete with the Knight's Cross, hideously burnt in combat on the eastern front, this cyncial ex-Fallschirmjager and former Berlin cop is called in to investigate a muder in the heart of Germany's rocket programme - based at Peenemunde on the Baltic.

I am sucker for gumshoe stories, and having read all of Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series (which inhabits the same dark Nazi German world) I was keen to give this a go. However, as it was being sold at a knock-down Kindle price of 99p, I was prepared for some ho-hum writing - of a writer with the enthusiasm but not necessarily the skill to be a good crime author.

I need not have worried, McDermott is a great find. His writing is clean, clear and crisp - and the novel is shot through with flashes of dark humour.

It is historically well-done.Who murdered a top German rocket scientist at the height of the 18 August 1943 RAF raid on Peenemunde, and why? For much of the story we are as in the dark as Fischer - which works, although I did find the final confrontation and plot exposition slightly too-clever and tortuous for its own good.

However, the author's historical afterword showed me why it stood on strong historical grounds. And it certainly didn't stop me awarding this five stars.

Add in several similiarly damaged ex-Luftwaffe types to the brew, complete with a running joke about 'Douglas von Bader', a beautiful Polish blonde (and a woman with whom Fischer once had a one-night stand) a trombone-playing forced labourer - never mind the historical characters of Wernher von Braun and Walter Dornberger - and you have a great recipe for a war-time crime novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By horbag on 14 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this while searching for more of McDermott's academic works.....this is a great read and am pleased to see it's the first in a series. The setting is the remote but enormously important arms factory into which Hitler threw his top scientists to develop the ultimate weapon to win the 2nd World War. There is a keen eye for historical context of course, but McDermott can tell a tale with interesting characters, good complex plot and a thundering climax. Great fun..
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