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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A best-seller in the making
David Crossland's The Jewish Candidate is truly a page-turner. I don't remember having read recently a novel about Germany's neo-Nazi scene as impressive as this. Crossland shows us a Berlin totally recognizable to anyone who knows the city, and with it provides the reader a sense of place that enriches his story. The two protagonists, Frank Carver and Wolfgang Renner,...
Published 14 months ago by Horst Woyde

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Formulaic and Clunky
I have no doubts that the author is very well versed with German politics and the extreme right wing scene in particular. The premise of the story is a good one, although perhaps more suited to the 90's than today, with the then rise of the Republikaner. The depiction of what are in effect NPD villages in the North of the former GDR are clearly based on recent reporting...
Published 4 months ago by Prenzlberg


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A best-seller in the making, 18 May 2013
By 
Horst Woyde (Tampa, Florida, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Jewish Candidate (Kindle Edition)
David Crossland's The Jewish Candidate is truly a page-turner. I don't remember having read recently a novel about Germany's neo-Nazi scene as impressive as this. Crossland shows us a Berlin totally recognizable to anyone who knows the city, and with it provides the reader a sense of place that enriches his story. The two protagonists, Frank Carver and Wolfgang Renner, the journalists who cover Rudi Gutman's election campaign in his bid for chancellor of Germany, carry the story to an unexpected conclusion with their suspenseful, action-laden investigation of multiple terrorist attacks directed to discredit Gutman. One has to ask, however, if Crossland deliberately downplayed Gutman's characterization as a Jew to reflect the traditional patriotism of German Jews, who are known to consider themselves first and foremost as Germans. The story, which explores the extraordinary possibility of a Jewish chancellor in Germany doesn't benefit from showing little jewishness in Gutman the person, and almost none in Gutman the candidate, although this doesn't make it less fascinating. The Jewish Candidate is a well-written book that keeps one reading until late in the night
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read where nothing is quite as it seems, 3 Oct 2013
This review is from: The Jewish Candidate (Kindle Edition)
Having borrowed this from the Kindle library intrigued by the premise of the story I read this in double quick time and then again before returning it.

It is clear that nothing is quite what it seems, and to take something at face value can be dangerous - even deadly. Even people who were supposed to be on the same side were in danger from each other - a point clearly illustrated in the opening pages of this thrilling book. After reading this you will never take anything at face value again

Interesting that in this story the moral position is taken by the investigative journalists, who put their lives in danger when they started their investigation, and by the title's Jewish Candidate for high political office. Don't look for a happy ending here, as in real life good people suffer and evil ones are not always brought to justice.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jewish Candidate, 15 May 2013
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This review is from: The Jewish Candidate (Kindle Edition)
This is a great yarn about events leading to a general election in Germany. It is a fantasy in fact of a kind that other authors have tried and failed to come anywhere near to the author's standards. It is a must-read for any interested in German history or who are following current events there.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, authentic and poignant, 23 May 2013
By 
Melanie Cheary (amsterdam, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jewish Candidate (Kindle Edition)
Since finishing The Jewish Candidate two weeks ago, I have attempted 3 other so-called thrillers. Two of which, I might add, have been labelled "best-sellers". Not one compares to this book by David Crossland. In his debut novel the plot was clever with a kicker finale; the milieu deeply convincing; and the characters fully developed -- even those who made an appearance for a mere single chapter. Take for example the South African emigre Khosa: his brief appearance, tightly sketched background, promising future and tragically sad demise at the hands of brutal neo-nazis brought a tightness to my throat and underscored the actual and burgeoning violence in the story. Crossland has braved issues in a "new" Germany that lie beneath the surface of Europe's strongest economy and that have a clear potential to surface and gain frightening force. His understanding of the tension within today's media world between editors and managers -- who count the money beans -- and those journalists with integrity -- who seek accuracy, truth and the "real" story -- gives this story enormous weight. I cannot recommend this book highly enough and, in particular, look forward to again meeting that skinny, geekishly courageous German investigative reporter, Renner. Write another one soon!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Formulaic and Clunky, 28 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Jewish Candidate (Kindle Edition)
I have no doubts that the author is very well versed with German politics and the extreme right wing scene in particular. The premise of the story is a good one, although perhaps more suited to the 90's than today, with the then rise of the Republikaner. The depiction of what are in effect NPD villages in the North of the former GDR are clearly based on recent reporting and I can see that this is fertile ground for any story.

This is not a hatchet job and I know that any review is completely subjective, but I have to say that the writing is poor, I could not get into this book no matter how hard I tried. I did not feel anything for the characters and the arc of the story is so formulaic you could predict what would happen next, throughout. Any book that takes months to read, as you keep dropping it and then picking it up again in the hope (vain as it transpired) that it would somehow get better tells you all you need to know. There is so much better out there. Only my opinion and I admit that I do not comment very often - but this was poor enough to make me want to do so.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 9 May 2013
By 
Smiler (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jewish Candidate (Kindle Edition)
The Jewish Candidate is more than just a novel - yes, it's a thriller in the best tradition of the genre - but due to the superb research that has clearly been invested here, it can also be seen as a very real scenario as to what could happen in Germany were there in fact to be a Jewish candidate for the chancellorship!. Money, as ever, is key, and how much ability in practice neo-Nazi groups in Germany now have to pose threats like those we see in this novel, could depend purely on the amount of funding they have. The author is English, but has lived in Germany most of his life as a journalist and has written extensively on the neo-Nazi threat. Because the author knows the reality of the far-right scene in Germany so well - and because the main protagonists in the novel are journalists themselves - the whole novel has an immediate and authentic feel second to none.
This was a real pleasure to read, the best thriller I've read in years, and reminded me with its lovely descriptions and tightly-written scenes of the best novels of another Germany-focussed thriller writer - the great Len Deighton.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced thriller, 2 Dec 2013
By 
A Common Reader "Committed to reading" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Jewish Candidate (Paperback)
Being a subscriber to the daily news review from German magazine Der Spiegel I was delighted to hear that one of their writers, David Crosland, had published a novel tackling the topic of the Neo-Nazi movement in Germany. Although this book may seem a little implausible (the rise of a new "Hitler" type character in modern Germany), anyone who reads Der Spiegel regularly will know that the Neo Nazi movement has significant support in Germany, particularly in the East and is a constant concern to the authorities.

Crosland's book covers an election campaign in Germany, in which Rudolf Gutman, a German Jew is standing for election to the post of Chancellor. Standing against him is Hermann von Tietjen who uses a full set of "dirty tricks" to oppose Gutman. von Tietjen's main enemy is the Muslim minority in Germany and he uses various tactics to whip up hatred for the Muslim minority and also to threaten the Jewish Gutman.

The story is told by Frank Carver, a British reporter who is covering the electtion campaign for the fictitious London Chronicle. Carver gets into various scrapes as he infiltrates neo-Nazi meetings and confronts the leaders of the movement. Before long he finds himself racing against time to foil a dreadful plot which could see von Tietjen massively increase his support.

My only quibble about the book is that David Crosland is not the greatest of writers. The book is "racy" but lacks style, and I found myself thinking that top writers like Gerald Seymour (The Corporal's Wife), Philip Kerr (A Man Without Breath: A Bernie Gunther Novel (Bernie Gunther Mystery 9)) and Alan Furst (Mission to Paris) would have made a rather better job of it. At times the sense of improbability was a little too great for me and I found myself in two minds whether to give up on it. However, the topicality of the story and the forward movement of the story kept me going until the end. Three stars would be cruel, and four seems about right because of the writer's imaginative approach.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely thrilling thriller, 10 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Jewish Candidate (Kindle Edition)
The plot's right up to date but this is also a thriller of the old school, where an entertaining story and a serious message happily co-exist. Think Forsyth, Fleming and Larsson -- pacy narrative, highly likeable central characters, a bit of romance, some graphic violence and a good dose of humour, suggesting the author is enjoying himself just as much as the reader.

But what sets the book apart is the author's deep knowledge of modern Germany. The settings, characters and situations all feel authentic. His outrage is clear as he exposes the country's tolerance of neo-Nazis yet he doesn't let this overwhelm the plot. All the strands are skilfully brought together in a breathless conclusion that left me already impatient for the next installment.

Full disclosure: I know the author (we both worked for Reuters in Germany so I know he captures the country perfectly) but I am also a genuine fan of the book. I've already recommended it to friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toughtful, disturbing political thriller, 11 July 2013
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This review is from: The Jewish Candidate (Kindle Edition)
Crossland's debut novel is for those who take their thrillers neat. The relentless narrative drags the reader by the hair through Germany's political underworld, twinning action-movie tempo with genuine, disturbing insight into the minds of Germany's disenfranchised right-wing underclass - and its ruthless leaders. While Frank Carver's mission to land the scoop of the century against outrageous odds and a deeply sister foe is a tale that in itself makes The Jewish Candidate a compelling read, the stark, troubling beauty of this book lies in Crossland's deep understanding of what makes Germany tick. His love for the country and horror for what is really happening there are evident in equal measure. Here is the evil and the redemption, the stupidity and the transcendence, delivered with the velocity and precision of the sniper's bullet.

Germany is once again the most powerful nation in Europe. We need to understand it. The Jewish Candidate slashes it open to expose the heart and the heart and the gall.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful thriller, 27 May 2013
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This review is from: The Jewish Candidate (Kindle Edition)
A German political thriller? It sounds a bit like that other classic oxymoron - British intelligence. Yet in applying latter to create the former, Berlin-based journalist David Crossland has written a wickedly entertaining tale that has a serious point to make.

In real life, few would bet against Angela Merkel winning re-election this autumn (please don't wake me up when it's over). In The Jewish Candidate, Chancellor "Angela Mueller" faces an existential challenge from Social Democrat Rudi Gutman, a Jew and a patriot. Throw in a neo-Nazi assassination plot masquerading as an Islamic insurgency, set British hack Frank Carver on the story, add a bit of kinky sex and Sauerkraut, and you have the makings of a classic page-turner.

Crossland's real point, though, is political. Germany's leaders ("an obese simpleton, a vain fornicator, a barren, indecisive Hausfrau") have failed in recent decades to take a moral stand against growing intolerance, hatred and violence. His choice of title asks the questions: How real was the country's post-war reconciliation, and will the aftermath of reunification destroy it?

The swastikas on the cover are meant to be attention-grabbing (this is a first novel after all). But readers who do turn the page will discover an authentic and insightful portrayal of today's Germany and its people (the characters are convincing; the caricatures hilariously overdrawn). Far from being yet another Nazi scare pot boiler, The Jewish Candidate is a testament to Crossland's deep knowledge, and appreciation, of his adopted homeland. Five stars.
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