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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Interrogator
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...
Published on 30 Aug. 2009 by martinblank

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars War management before the Anti-Smoking Police gained the upper hand
"Heavy pools of smoke swirled beneath the droplights like winter smog. The atmosphere was always impossibly thick in the Tracking Room. Everyone smoked ..." - from THE INTERROGATOR

"There was a Sunday church hush in the Tracking Room ... The First Sea Lord was standing at the plot. His entourage was stirring the smoke into a restless pea-souper that lent...
Published on 7 July 2012 by Mr. Joe


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Interrogator, 30 Aug. 2009
By 
martinblank (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Interrogator (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and enthralling - The Interrogator, 8 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The Interrogator (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Read ! Great characters with real history and knowledge., 28 Jan. 2009
By 
W. Abraham - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Interrogator (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive first novel, tense, gripping and vivid, 29 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The Interrogator (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, 26 April 2009
This review is from: The Interrogator (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A very believable WW2 story of U-boats and secret codes, 28 Jan. 2009
By 
Mr. R. Sim (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Interrogator (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Subs, secrets and an awful lot of cigarettes!, 27 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: The Interrogator (Paperback)
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. I know this was the forties and before people realised the dangers of fags and that cigarette smoke is as much part of an interrogation scene as an angle poise lamp and a creakey wooden chair, but my God if I'd a quid for every cigarette offered or asked for, I'd have been a rich man by the end of the book.

Didn't think the plot was quite as complex as your average Robert Harris which it has been heavily compared with and I was expecting a few more twists and turns in addition to the ones that came but nevertheless a highly enjoyable wartime drama. Well researched and authentic feeling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable tale of war-time intelligence work, 4 May 2009
By 
Stephen Bishop (Darlington, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Interrogator (Hardcover)
This is a first novel but reads in a very assured way with a good balance between plot, characterisation and scene-setting. Moves along at a good pace, but the reader is never left behind. Deals with a lesser known aspect of intelligence work chiefly famous through works on Bletchley, Enigma, etc. Good portrayal of the tensions of the hero's relationship with his lover - the author even manages to write convincing sex scenes (nothing very explicit), which is extremely difficult to achieve. Inter-service and inter-departmental rivalries well observed and takes a balanced view of the German side of the war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Read, 14 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Interrogator (Paperback)
This is a well-paced, gripping and intriguing wartime thriller. It has nicely drawn, believable characters and plenty of fascinating historical background, though the latter does not impede the progress of the plot as it can do in other books of this type. I would agree with other reviewers who rate this book alongside "Enigma" by Robert Harris. A very good first novel; I look forward to reading Mr. Williams' next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 29 Jan. 2009
By 
Mr. T. Wallis (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Interrogator (Hardcover)
What a good read. Enjoyment and interest turned to excitement and insistent page turning. A gripping plot, characters so real that you feel you know them and a fascinating period of recent history is a great combination. Also,the sense that much of this fiction was based on fusty but genuine documents and memories from a generally little visited corner of history gave the story a stong feeling of reality. Great stuff!
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The Interrogator
The Interrogator by Andrew Williams (Paperback - 6 Aug. 2009)
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