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The Interrogator Hardcover – 8 Jan 2009

44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (8 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719523613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719523618
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,112,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew worked as a newspaper journalist, then as a senior producer on BBC Television's flagship current affairs programmes, Panorama and Newsnight, covering the major stories of the day. In 1997 he moved to BBC Documentaries and spent the next eleven years writing and directing television documentaries and drama documentaries for the BBC and international co-producers, including the award winning series, 'The Battle of the Atlantic'. He has written two best selling histories of the Second World War; 'The Battle of the Atlantic', and 'D-Day to Berlin'. His first novel, 'The Interrogator', was shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Thriller of the Year Award and the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, and it was The Daily Mail's debut thriller of 2009. His second, 'To Kill A Tsar', was one of The Daily Mail's thrillers of 2010 and was shortlisted for The Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and the Ellis Peters Award. 'The Poison Tide' was the first in a trilogy of Secret Service novels that take place during World War 1. The second, 'The Suicide Club', is a spy story set at British HQ in France and behind enemy lines in Belgium. The Daily Mail has described him as belonging to 'the front rank of the new English thriller writers'. For background to his books and more on the author, visit: http://www.andrewwilliams.tv You can follow and discuss the books with Andrew on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AndrewWilliamsbooks?ref=profile

Product Description

Review

'Andrew Williams's debut novel The Interrogator has a flair, grasp of detail, and strong characterisation that reminds me uncannily of Robert Harris's best-seller Enigma, and there's no higher praise . . . This is a terrific first novel. Harris had better watch out' (Daily Mail)

'One of the most gripping books I have read for some time' (Terry Sutton, The Times)

'The tensions within the intelligence community simmer excitingly ... his dialogue is energetic, and he is armed with a real passion for these events. Events are never absurd or melodramatic, and the characters are damaged, driven and fallible ... this is gripping stuff. Williams has put his knowledge to work, and any reader will emerge from this debut entertained and half-amazed at a terrific, mostly untold story' (Bill Greenwell, Independent)

'An interesting slant on the war hero ... thisis a first rate debut, highly recommended' (Bookseller)

'Introduces tension by lingering on the rough justice meted out by German prisoners of war' (Herald)

'This atmospheric first novel makes good use of different viewpoints ... maintaining the excitement and sense of mystery even though the reader knows how the story must end' (Morning Star)

'Not only is this a gripping thriller ... but (it) is confidently researched and cheekily written enough to include a cameo role for that real life Naval Intelligence officer of the day, a certain Ian Fleming.' (Shots)

'An excellent job...this 375-page hardback provides one of the best reads I have enjoyed for a long time. Worth every penny' (Dover Express & Folkestone Herald)

'A gripping Second World War thriller' (Sleaford Standard)

A 'ripping yarn' (Adelaide Advertiser (Australia))

'This is a terrific first novel with the best description I have ever read of the noise of the explosion that occurred when HMS Loyalty, on which I was serving, was torpedoed on 22nd August, 1944' (Driffield Leader)

'A gripping thriller ... confidently researched and cheekily written' (Deadly Pleasures)

'The action in this story moves along at a good pace, and the dialogue and characters are believable' (Nautical Magazine)

Book Description

Shortlisted for the CWA/Ian Fleming Award, The Interrogator is a masterful spy story set in the darkest days of the Second World War. The Enigma Code has been broken - but what if German High Command can read our naval signals, too? For all readers of John le Carre and Robert Harris - 'Terrific... Robert Harris had better watch out' Daily Mail.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By martinblank VINE VOICE on 30 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
A tense, dramatic, believable, fast paced and irresistible wartime thriller guaranteed to grab the reader and keep him or her turning the pages well past bedtime. Has much in common with early 'Blackout' era John Lawton, Rennie Airth, Alan Furst and (as critics seldom fail to mention) Robert Harris. If those names mean anything to you 'The Interrogator' is a must read. Williams writes fluently and intelligently from multiple perspectives, he deploys research adroitly, has the reader smoking as heavily as the characters with a succession of taut stand offs and intrigues, and keeps the novel fast to the rails as it races to a climax. The only possible criticism - and I have to scrape around for one - is that characters do what characters always seem to do in novels like this, as opposed to those inconvenient human behaviours in the plotless real world which turn affairs of the heart into incomprehensible algebra. But as entertainment 'The Interrogator' approaches flawless. A true five star debut that whets the appetite for the next Williams novel. There are a few pages of this at the end of 'The Interrogator' so the wait will a be short one.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Beastie Boy on 8 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a pacy, tense read against the back drop of the most crucial campaign of the war from a British perspective. Lindsay is a damaged naval officer convinced that codes have been broken who ruthlessly pursues this conviction. The inter-play between him and the u-boat officers is riveting. The writing is impressive and the historical background detailed, but not so comprehensive as to get in the way of a thrilling yarn. Highly recommended. A very promising first novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. Abraham on 28 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This was a very good read. The focus of the story is the attempt by the damaged hero - he suffers from survivor guilt - to prove to his superiors in naval intelligence that British codes have been penetrated. For him, it seems to be less a question of patriotic duty than personal necessity - a chance to redeem himself in his own eyes. The choice between personal at patriotic seems to be at the heart of the book. In one way or another all the characters are forced to choose. Williams has a real grasp of the detail and the world of naval intelligence and the German U-boat. We never lose sight of the war in the Atlantic but this is the intelligence war fought on the Home Front. It bowls along at a cracking pace and its all there: love, betrayal, war, intrigue. A cracking thriller with a moral twist.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Ellis on 29 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a view of the Battle of the Atlantic from an unusual perspective, highlighting the fact that the U-boat war was fought out in 1941 in smoke-filled rooms as well as on the high seas. The author skilfully recreates the atmosphere of wartime Britain - lunchtime concerts and edgy nightclubs in London, a bomb shelter in the Liverpool Blitz, POW camps in Lancashire - while his confident handling of historical detail gives the central story-line a compelling air of authenticity. The twists and rising tensions as British intelligence staff and German prisoners grapple with fundamental conflicts of duty, honour and patriotism against a background of personal and emotional crisis carry the reader through to a satisfyingly ambiguous conclusion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C Fraser on 26 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book reminiscent of authors who have lived through the period, such as Douglas Reeman. We have strong characters we can relate to. We have interpersonal tensions and the romantic undercurrent, which gives an added intrigue. However, I felt the most powerful aspect of the book was the historical accuracy, based on Mr Williams comprehensive research. I could picture the scenes as I read and now look forward to the next offering from Mr Williams.
I recommend the book wholeheartedly as a good read for the routine novel reader and a great addition to the library of the fan of WW2 naval adventures.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Sim on 28 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
His previous historical text The battle of The Atlantic was very readable and informative. In this novel, Mr Williams threads his own tale of love and intrigue through that world of U-boats and naval intelligence that he obviously knows so well.
Lieutenant Douglas Lindsay is one of the few survivors when his ship is torpedoed and sunk in circumstances that leave him burdened with guilt. His fluent German takes him to a job interrogating captured U-boat officers where Lindsay becomes convinced that British naval codes have been broken. Should he ignore orders? His lover has the highest security clearance but will she jeopardise her position to help him? In the end, how far should he go in risking individual lives to get the answers that might save so many others from those prowling U-boats?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. I. Harrison on 27 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an atmospheric and convincing war time yarn. Unusually perhaps centred around a British interrogator trying to prise information from German U-boat crew, rather than the typical evil leather clad Gestapo officers slapping their thigh with their gloves and saying 'Ve vill ask the questions!' to captured allied airmen.

There were various plot elements. The hero, a young Scot, but with a German mother, survives the sinking of his destroyer at the start of the war before moving into intelligence work. His determination to make ammends for his perceived failures and come to terms with the trauma of his sinking leads to an obsession with solving the riddle of how the U-boats seem to find the British convoys so easily.

There was also a bit of a murder mystery among the German POW's.

Another big plot element is the romance element as young Lindsey meets the good Dr! a 'blue stocking' Oxford grad working in the U-boat tracking section for a certain Ian Fleming (yes that Ian Fleming!) There rival departments lead to tensions between the couple but I will say no more for spoiling reasons.

What I liked about the book was that it was told with a nice balance and resisted making all Brits noble and brave and all Germans evil Nazi's. Lindsey himself is a slightly flawed arrogant man who makes few friends amongst his colleagues and superior officers and thankfully his romance is very much on the safe side of sickly and sweet.

There was an incredible preoccupation with cigarette smoking, as I alluded to in my title.
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