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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Jewish Candidate
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 28 September 2017
I rarely give up in the middle of books, but I only got a third of the way through this one before packing it in. The idea was interesting, but the book itself was boring. Unusually for me, I can't even remember enough about it to elaborate on this, which probably shows just how little it grabbed me.
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on 14 November 2017
Not a bad tale - the author clearly knows an awful lot about contemporary Germany. However, I felt the twist at the end (which I won't reveal) was far too predictable. Important to be warned about the threat posed by neo-Nazis though.
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on 17 November 2017
Fairly readable, but a deeply implausible elitist fantasy about honest and principled mainstream politicians fighting dark forces behind the populists. I guess we can expect more of this sort of rubbish in the current climate.
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on 27 February 2014
My heart was in my mouth at times reading this book. I could feel the underlying malice in those neo-nazi cells. I felt it was well researched. It was easy to read although some times I had to page back to re-register who a character was. Maybe it was something to do with those long German words! Something tells me it won't be long before this is made into a film/tv series. My only gripe was that it was a bit rushed at the end.
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on 18 May 2013
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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on 3 October 2013
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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on 14 May 2016
It is very rare that I don't bother to finish a book - probably only two in the last ten years. This is the third. I have a pretty good idea how it ends and much of what happens before then - without finishing it. Too many clichés; some plot errors; two dimensional (and that's me being generous) characters - I really could not go on any further. I'm not sure what book the 5 star reviewers were reading, but it certainly wasn't the book I was trying to read.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 2 December 2013
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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on 18 June 2016
A really superb idea and three years after it was written very topical. Let down by the characterisation which seemed to be straight out of a comic book. The arch villain might have been better fighting superman. Having said that it is still worth reading if only for the rhetoric the author ascribes to the far right party in his novel - it seems little different from what we are hearing from Donald Trump in th USA and Nigel Farage in the UK. Only 2 days ago a British MP was killed by someone at least claiming to be motivated by these sorts of ideas. Food for thought indeed. One last point I really don't want to read about people wetting themselves unless it really is essential to the writing - in this case it seemed to add very little. Shame really as this could have been an outstanding read.
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on 23 May 2013
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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