- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 480 KB
- Print Length: 322 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: JJ Toner; 1 edition (14 July 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01I5XB2UU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,078 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Serpent's Egg: WW2 Spy Thriller (The Red Orchestra Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Meticulously researched and with an acute understanding of history and human nature, JJ Toner expertly uses Max and Anna’s story to paint a stark picture of what life was really like for Germans who did not toe the Party line. He also highlights the heroic efforts and incredible risks the German resistance group, the Red Orchestra, took to stand up for humanity against the Nazis.
I now have a far better understanding of what life was like in Berlin at that time – thank you, JJ Toner.
I quite liked the sudden switch of scene to the political dramas of the day which suddenly break up the book, particularly focusing on the British response to the Nazi-Soviet Pact and realisation that Britain and France might have to face the combined forces of both countries.
Felt that the story line became quite gripping and well paced .
The book covers a well trodden theme. It's quite exciting but it's hardly original. And since the first 60% is pre-War, it's not entirely a "WWII Spy Thriller". Maybe I'm getting jaded and/or have had a surfeit of such books, but it features yet again escapes to Switzerland, and yet again RC priests and churches in the Protestant east. Perhaps Mr Toner has read recent books of this genre and decide to stick to the template. He doesn't do a bad job.
But there are other oddities too. Pastor and Father are interchanged. I don't think that the Gestapo and SS were the same (as implied). And I wonder if there were pizza and pasta restaurants in 1939 Berlin.
Having made these points, though, I can conclude that the book holds your attention and is worth reading.
Within this setting, JJ Toner takes a love story and turns it into a heroic quest. It begins with the question: what if you love a part-Jewish girl and want to marry her just as Jews are banned from all German life? Under the Nazi regime, to help or harbor Jews is a criminal offense. If caught, you can be sent to a labor camp or even executed. This is the dilemma for Max as he applies for special authorization from the Gestapo to marry Anna, who is part-Jewish. The Gestapo officer seizes the opportunity to force Max to join the secret Communist group to betray them if he wants a marriage licence issued to him. But, as Max gets to know the members of the Red Orchestra, he relates to their noble desire to stop Hitler’s nightmare from overtaking the world and cannot betray them. How can he please Anna by marrying her while fooling the Gestapo at the same time?
The Serpent’s Egg, Book I in the Red Orchestra series, covers from May 1938 to December 1940. To commemorate actual members of the Red Orchestra and their personal sacrifices, JJ Toner has integrated a few of them with fictitious renditions of their participation in the German Resistance as they relate to Max and Anna. The novel itself is a rollercoaster read filled with suspense and emotional magnetism. But, beyond this, the story also ends with a big question in the reader’s mind, and I can’t wait to read Book II to find out about the next dilemma Max faces.