on 25 December 2011
What a coup! Yes, I never recognised that this is Simon Scarrows brother until I delved into author notes. And Alex Scarrow can certainly be put on a par, if not surpass, his brothers style.
This novel really races along, and for anyone interested in WWII fiction, it's a cracking piece.
Great plot with a downed USA B-17 found off the coast of Rhode Island. And the crew and mission? Well, no spoilers here!
What I can say, is that Alex Scarrow goes straight into my top 5 authors - I'll certainly be looking for more from him.
Great novel, well written, good characterisation.
Worth £8 of anyones money. Buy it!
A Thousand Suns: Alex Scarrow
This book is a fantastic debut Novel for Alex, I myself am a fan of many genre, and in the world of War time exploits one of My favourite authors is Jack Higgins, some one I consider the master of this genre. I would put this book up there with his best, against the likes of Cold Harbour and The Eagle Has landed.
The Story Is a great testament to the courage or the men who fought in those times, alot of people forget or don't know that the Germans had many Brave men who were not Nazis and hated the Nazi ideal, but at the same time were committed to Germany and her people. They fought under the same appalling conditions with a great deal of courage and conviction...there are 2 side to every tale and this Story Shows the courage of the men from both sides and the hard decisions they might have had to make.
The story has a nice pace to the action, flitting between past and present without confusing the reader, and embroils you in web of secrecy that might have surrounded such an event if it had truly happened with its excellent easy to like characters.
Its a shame that this book is clearly a 1 off as I would really have like to meet some of these characters again.
Keep up the good work Alex, and I hope you write another wartime novel soon as you have a great flair for it.
on 28 February 2012
I'm very picky with fiction novels and if the book isn't gving me the X factor to read it it goes on the shelf and sometimes I never get back to it. This one is so gooooood! Such a great plot with characters you immediately get familiar with. The story builds up as it goes and you keep getting anxious to find out what's really gonna happen and, again, some authors don't get that last part of the book right either. But Alex Scarrow really nails it in a brilliant, emotional and brave way.
It's gone right on my top ten fav's ever.
on 25 October 2012
I hadn't read this author before, but I took a chance. I'm one of those guys who'll pick a book up with little prodding if there are eagles and swastikas on the cover, which describes about half of the Robert Ludlum novels I own. Owing to that logic, I picked this book up, not sure what to expect. What did I get? I got a well written book that straddles the present and the past, and inspite of events having taken place in 1945, the book still manages to keep you guessing right up until the end, even with potential spoilers in the early chapters.
It's generally well written and well paced, but most impressively I found the characters were really, really well written and you were easily able to sympathize with people and forget what it was they were actually trying to achieve, not unlike Das Boot. You'd have a good idea of who somebody was without having reams of back story to wade through which is a trap some authors fall into. Certainly there were characters who were demonized, but if I told you who they were, that'd be a spoiler, and even balanced views of the past need a villain if we're talking literature, because it's hard to think of a good story without antagonists.
All in all, this book caused me a few sleep deprived nights and was finished alarmingly quickly considering the page count, if you like WWII conspiracy stories, or just a plain good thriller, you'll probably enjoy this.
on 16 March 2006
This is a cracking good read! What begins as a simple assignment for a magazine photographer soon becomes far more. Chris is asked to photograph an American bomber found underwater close inshore, but when he dives to it he finds evidence that it was flown by Germans. Who, and why? The story then goes back in time to the last days of the Third Reich, with defeated Germans trekking despondently away from the advancing Russians. One special bomber crew is sought among the refugees, found, and assigned for a very special mission. They are to fly a captured B-17 across the Atlantic to New York for a "demonstration". Exactly what they are to demonstrate becomes clear later, among some thrilling combat scenes both in the air and on the ground. Clashes of conscience show the best sides of some Germans as well as the total lack of conscience among others, who believe in revenge at all costs - foiled by a final act of self-sacrifice. Interspersed returns to the present show Chris hunted by mysterious figures who clearly do not wish him well and are desperate to conceal the truth about the bomber's cargo. Could all this really have happened? Yes, it could. German research very nearly reached the point shown here, and the Germans did capture flyable bombers and use them. Don't miss this book!
on 17 August 2009
I saw this book a while back and was quite taken with the synopsis, but have only just had opportunity to purchase and read it.
The book follows the events leading up to a secret Allied surrender in April 1945, which only comes to light on a discovery in modern day America. I found the book a gripping read and quite difficult to put down. The author has a very good writing style, which meant the book flowed effortlessly. All the characters and locations were well described and I felt you could place yourself in the plane, Berlin or America, and understand the thoughts and actions as if you were there. Two weeks on, I still remember the description of the Messerschmidt Squadron Leader over the Atlantic coast - but I am giving no clues!!
My only criticism is that I felt the ending could have had a bit more of a crescendo. The storyline lifted and lifted and I was (probably) expecting a little but more, instead I felt it plateaued out a bit at the end.
In saying that, I would highly recommend this book - I look forward to reading more by the author.
on 9 July 2007
I picked up this book completely by chance at an airport, and having read the synopsis thought I'd give it a go. I've always had a keen interest in the events of the second world war and like to read historians views of 'What might have been...if only...etc' Alex Scarrow takes historical facts (the German Atomic program, the impending fall of Berlin, the political landscape of post-Roosevelt America) and weaves them brilliantly into rip-roaring tale of last ditch derring-do. A sign of his excellent writing skills is his ability to give real human deapth to each of his Characters, where you find yourself rooting for the Germans during their mission against America, even though the outcome is clear from the begining of the book. Having read lots of jack Higgins, Frederick Forsyth and Gerald Seymour, I was staggered to see that this was Mr Scarrows first book as it equals and often betters the other author's in this group. I'm off to buy the next book now. I suggest if you haven't yet bought 'A thousand Suns' you do so now.
on 28 September 2008
A mystery is discovered... but is it believable ??
Why was the B-17 found there ? What did Chris Roland discover when he was photographing the plane that led to him being hunted ?? In short, a terrifing secret that almost changed the history of the world.
Packed with intrigue and suspense, the story runs in both 1945 and the present day, helping to explain what really occurred. Heroic German pilots, devious Gestapo types, honourable, yet ruthless American citizens who will go to any lengths to hide the fact that the Allies, in April 1945 surrendered to the forces of Nazi Germany... but only for a few hours.
Brilliantly conceived, the story flows like a smooth Czech pilsner, rich in character, strong on impact and above all, tasty to the last... leaving you wanting more....
Another classic from Alex Scarrow, a man who knows how to develop tension and create excitement. A must read for anyone interested in WWII, thrillers, or books that make you want to turn the page !!
on 11 May 2011
So many people have already said what I think that my only reason to be here is to say, they are right. This was a great book and one I couldn't put down. In an early review, someone mentioned cinematic and I'd have to more then agree.
At one point, I really needed to visit the loo and tried to hold off to the end of a chapter. It was as though I'd miss something if I left the page. It might go on without me. Better sense finally prevailed as in some discomfort I managed to put the book down a minute or two before hurrying back.
I have to confess at just a tiny bit of confusion as in a couple of places, and no big deal really, one or two of the characters briefly use modern day expressions I don't believe were in use in 1945, and especially by Germans. Also, I was dumbstruck by Chris sleeping through the end where Wallace drops the ID tag. But ok. Wonderful ending and wonderful book. Wish I had more then five stars to give.
And finally, A sincere Thank You to Mr. Scarrow.
on 8 December 2015
Interesting idea but the author did not quite pull it off for me.
A B17 2nd world war bomber is found off the coast of the USA. A diving photographic journalist makes it to the wreck. His photographic evidence shows the crew wearing nazi uniforms....what the devil.
We are then transported 60 years into the past and the mission that ensued.
Hitlers last throw of the dice in the last days of nazi Berlin is to nuke New York with his newly found weapon of mass distruction.
The weapon has been hastily developed and is untested.
Using a captured american B17 bomber crewed by the best thats left of the german airmen go tag along on the mission with them.
Meantime in current day USA we find our journalist pursued by the men in the dark glasses. Someone it seems does not want certain secrets to see the light of day even 60 years on.