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Orders from Berlin by Simon Tolkien
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Orders from Berlin (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Simon Tolkien

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494238,224 (3.42)3
Member:summerflood
Title:Orders from Berlin
Authors:Simon Tolkien
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Tags:fiction, 2013

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Orders from Berlin by Simon Tolkien (2012)

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When I read, I inadvertently put myself in the story as I follow it in print. I begin to feel the cold, the mist, the rain, the sun and other elements of the narrative. I also put myself in the time and place where the story takes place. I can be sitting in a park on one page and riding the subway in another. In other words, I become enveloped by the story…if it is good and one that I like. In “Orders from Berlin” by Simon Tolkien, I did just that. I became a person living in London during the Blitz. I fancied myself reacting to the situations around me because the prose was so inviting.

This thriller takes place at the beginning of World War II in London and in Berlin. It is the story of a double agent who has a high place in the MI6, the CIA counterpart in England. He has the ear of Hitler through his contact in Germany. It is hard to believe that while his own country it suffering because of the bombing of London and surrounding areas, he is planning to assassinate Winston Churchill. One of his coded messages is intercepted by a co-worker who becomes suspicious of his loyalties. This is true cloak and dagger writing style. I thought that each of the main characters was very strong: Ava, whose father was murdered and whose husband was accused of his murder, seemed to grow stronger throughout the book and by the end I had a completely different idea of her character; and Trave, a subordinate detective investigating the murder who is not satisfied with his superior’s treatment of the evidence and becomes stronger throughout the book as he follows the evidence to find the truth.

I would recommend this book with no reservations. It was a wonderful spy novel and a quite believable fictional narrative about the London Blitz.

The author, Simon Tolkien is the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”.

I received a free print copy of this book in return for my honest review.

You can read this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p2pjIt-42
( )
  SilverShrew | Feb 20, 2014 |
My expectations of this books were WAY too high and I didn't realise it was the third in the series or that Tolkien was such a prolific writer. A decent thriller set at the sunset of the Golden Age, when London was subject to air raids every night and there were Nazi spies under every bed. Apparently a prequel to the earlier books featuring Trave, he begins the book as a constable who gets involved with a murder, and tries to foil a dastardly Nazi plot to assassinate Churchill. ( )
  adpaton | Jan 9, 2014 |
Being the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, I think people expect a lot from Simon Tolkien. Even though he writes a completely different genre, just like his grandfather, Tolkien is gifted at creating a novel with a vivid atmosphere and a complex plot. This is the third in the Inspector Trave series, but it’s a prequel to the first two novels. Even though this is my first Trave novel, I didn’t feel lost or feel like I had started in the middle of the series.

I haven’t read a lot of novels centered around World War II and I’ve always felt oddly disconnected to the ones that I have read. I think it’s rare to find an author who can transport you to a period of time you have no experience with and make you feel like you’re living through it, but Tolkien is able to do this so easily. Through his writing, I felt like I was living in London during the 1940′s, cowering in subways to avoid the air strikes, watching buildings explode and my neighbours die, and moving through the wreckage of London. The whole novel is written so well.

The story itself is very creative. I would classify this book completely as a thriller, not a murder mystery because the person who committed the murder is easily guessed from the beginning and confirmed about halfway through. Trave and his supporting cast are all well-developed and interesting characters. The relationships between the characters is also interesting to read about and I loved how Ava changed from the beginning to the end.

This is a very fast paced novel. Even though the plot isn’t remarkably original, it’s an excellent thriller and I am highly recommending it. ( )
  jadestar31 | Dec 4, 2013 |
Yikes! I had no idea that this was a third book to a series, or I would have checked out the others before devouring this one. Good thing it can still be read as a stand-alone read.

This was my first Simon Tolkien book, and I absolutely LOVED it! From start to finish I was pulled into this gloomy war era of the 1940s, and was completely lost in it. There was never a dull moment.

It’s the 1940s. London. And there is a war raging on. Bombs are dropped, people are dying, and in the mist of it all-the ex-chief of MI6-Albert Morrison has been murdered. Young policeman, Trave, along with his chief inspector Quaid is on the case, and finds out that Alec Thorn-the deputy head of MI6 has visited Morrison on the day of his death. Thorn, who’s also a close friend of the Morrison family, is being suspected. With a secret note that has been found in Morrison’s coat pocket-a clue that may suggest the plan to assassinate Churchill-Britain’s leader, Trave goes against all orders that may cause him-not only his job but his life …to solve this mystery and make things right.

What I loved:

Throughout this book, I had a series of mixed emotions. I smiled, I felt panicked, and I … did not cry … okay … I had teary moments. But what I especially loved about this book is that each character held on their own; and I was able to hate, yet, pity and sympathize with the villains, at every turn of page.

With an amazing storyline, powerful-entrancing characters, and the perfect pace of happenings, Orders from Berlin has to be the best Mystery/Detective/Thriller book of 2012 … at least in my case!

Definitely a recommend for Mystery/Detective lovers! ( )
  starryeyedheart | Dec 9, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312632142, Hardcover)

“Tolkien’s writing has a timeless quality [and] the haunting undertones of other great masters.” –USA Today

A compelling thriller laced with Simon Tolkien's signature writing style, praised by the LA Times as “half Christie and half Grisham”

With the publication of The Inheritance, Simon Tolkien was lauded as a naturally gifted storyteller who possesses a terrific command of language and a unique perception into the darker sides of human nature. Now, Simon takes readers back to the case that started it all for Trave, the hero of his last two critically acclaimed novels. 

It’s September of 1940. France has fallen and London is being bombed day and night. Almost single-handedly Winston Churchill maintains the country’s morale. Britain’s fate hangs in the balance and the intelligence agencies on both sides of the Channel are desperate for anything that could give them the edge. 

Albert Morrison, ex-chief of MI6, is pushed over the banister outside his London apartment. He falls to his death at the feet of his daughter, Ava, but it is too dark for her to see the attacker before he escapes. Two Scotland Yard detectives attend the crime scene: Inspector Quaid and his junior assistant, Detective Trave. Quaid is convinced that this is a simple open-and-shut case involving a family dispute.  But Trave is not so sure. Following a mysterious note in the dead man’s pocket, Trave discovers that Morrison was visited by Alec Thorn, deputy head of MI6, on the day of his death. Could Thorn—who is clearly carrying a flame for Morrison's daughter—be involved in a plot to betray his country that Morrison tried to halt, and if so, can Trave stop it in time in this gripping and intelligent thriller?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:21 -0400)

A tale set in 1940 London marks the beginning of Detective Bill Trave's career and follows his investigation into an MI6 former chief's murder, which is linked to an assassination plot against Churchill.

(summary from another edition)

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