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62 Reviews
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a novel.
This is historical fiction of a very high order, with fact and fiction so closely and skilfully blended and intertwined that it is never easy to be quite sure where one begins and the other ends: the author's note at the end of the book does give considerable help in this regard, but I would urge you not to look at it until you have read the book itself - just dive in...
Published 13 months ago by Ian N.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good History, Poor Characterisation
I should have enjoyed this book more than I did. I'm very interested in this period of German history and I enjoy thrillers. The benchmark for this type of novel was and remains 'The Day of the Jackal.' This book, unfortunately, comes nowhere close.

On the plus side, the sense of time and place - Germany and, in particular, Berlin, in 1938 - is impressive. The...
Published 8 months ago by Watcher


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a novel., 1 July 2013
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This review is from: Traitor's Gate (Kindle Edition)
This is historical fiction of a very high order, with fact and fiction so closely and skilfully blended and intertwined that it is never easy to be quite sure where one begins and the other ends: the author's note at the end of the book does give considerable help in this regard, but I would urge you not to look at it until you have read the book itself - just dive in and enjoy it first at the basic level of a gripping thriller.

That done, though, this is a book with higher levels too; it is almost documentary at times, and as you go on you may be surprised to learn just how much of it is either recorded historical fact, or at least closely based on fact with just a few tweaks. It is valuable too for highlighting the existence and extent of resistance to Hitler and National Socialism within Germany itself, and even in the years before the outbreak of war in September 1939 - although it did not of course end then. That is a story which deserves to be far more widely known and told, and the fact that the resistance was ultimately unsuccessful (partly due for whatever reason to lack of outside support, it has to be said) in no way detracts from its intrinsic worth, or from the vision, courage and self-sacrifice of those involved with it. This book goes some small way towards redressing the balance.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A skilful blend of fact and fiction, 5 Aug 2013
By 
Bookie (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Traitor's Gate (Kindle Edition)
What a cracking story! I've enjoyed Mr Ridpath's Iceland series and was unsure whether a book set in Nazi Germany, on the brink of war, would be credible and engaging.

The characters rang true; their language, attitudes, backgrounds and their interplay all went to give them depth and make their conflicts and motivation plausible. The period detail was significant and informed. I felt as if I was in Berlin, with the central characters, sharing their fears and hopes. The difficulties of being Jewish were explored with sensitivity and compassion. The plot was sufficiently complicated to be intriguing. Set in the context of Hitler's proposed invasion of Czechoslovakia, and a secret plan to depose the nasty Nazi, it presents a clever meld of fact and fiction. I found the period detail rich and could visualise buildings and their setting, without feeling overwhelmed by extraneous information. A clever and interesting take on what might have been and why. Informed and entertaining, I really enjoyed it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good History, Poor Characterisation, 19 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Traitor's Gate (Kindle Edition)
I should have enjoyed this book more than I did. I'm very interested in this period of German history and I enjoy thrillers. The benchmark for this type of novel was and remains 'The Day of the Jackal.' This book, unfortunately, comes nowhere close.

On the plus side, the sense of time and place - Germany and, in particular, Berlin, in 1938 - is impressive. The author has clearly done his research well, and that includes the real people involved in tentative anti-Hitler activities. Regrettably, though, the fictional characters come over as tediously two-dimensional. The reader feels little involvement in the lives and fate of the cardboard cut-out protagonists. There is little in the way of character development and not much credibility in their barely displayed thoughts and emotions.

This is a pity as there is a strong story to be told here. It just isn't in this novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable, 4 July 2013
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This review is from: Traitor's Gate (Kindle Edition)
Michael Ridpath's latest masterpiece takes you back to 1938 - to the tense setting of pre-war Berlin. This is not a typical "war book", it manages to tell a fascinating little-known story in a very readable and engaging way. One of Ridpath's skills is his ability to create really appealing characters. In this case, they not only guide you through the story, they also make you think about the strength of friendships, loyalty and human nature. Traitor's Gate is a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading and - like Michael Ridpath's other books - it stays with you long after you've closed the cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 24 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Traitor's Gate (Kindle Edition)
Well crafted characters, a believable plot and the depth of writing to keep a reader truly entertained. I'd heartily recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alles ist in Ordnung..., 23 July 2013
This review is from: Traitor's Gate (Kindle Edition)
An enjoyable read and the period atmosphere is quite authentic,although at times it felt like the author had been reading the Robert Harris Manual on How to Write a Nazi-Germany-based Thriller (Rule #1: mention a Berlin place name on every third line). I had somehow hoped The Plot and its machinations was going to be painted more vividly and occupy centre stage but it felt like it was more in the background. Worth a try anyway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Mills & Boon dressed up as a historical thriller., 29 Mar 2014
By 
Mark Jeffery - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Traitor's Gate (Paperback)
This is a case of a potentially promising plot ruined by corny and cliche ridden characterization. I should have stopped reading it after the opening couple of chapters, but continued out of some sort of masochistic perversity - a bit like watching car crash TV.

If you like thrillers set in 30s Berlin and about the Third Reich, read Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, which are so superior to this novel that they'll make it seem like a bowl of cold cabbage soup starter before a Michelin starred haute cuisine main course.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful ww2 thriller, 22 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Traitor's Gate (Kindle Edition)
Fantastic page turner. Wonderfully well written and crafted. The empathy you feel for the characters builds as the story progresses. You really feel like you are witnessing something historic. Intense atmosphere and fist clenching excitement to the very end!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most intriguing booj, 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Traitor's Gate (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this....lots of tension and an insight of Berlin in those changing times.I have read many historical accounts about how Herr Hitler's' rise and how Germany wished for nothing more than to be a powerful nation once more but Hitler had an entirely different agenda....if only this coup of 1938 had happened and Hitler had been killed the war would not have happened.but it did and perhaps the world had to endure Hitler so that the new world would have a new understanding of EVIL
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 14 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Traitor's Gate (Kindle Edition)
Why he hasn't written more i don't know. He is just brilliant cant put his work down have read twice
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Traitor's Gate
Traitor's Gate by Michael Ridpath
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