Jeffery Deaver was a lawyer before quitting work to become a full-time writer.
Deaver fans expect the unexpected from this prodigiously talented thriller writer, and the creator of the Lincoln Rhyme series and other memorable yarns (The Blue Nowhere, etc.) doesn't disappoint with his 19th novel, this time offering a deliciously twisty tale set in Nazi Berlin. The book's hero is a mob "button man," or hit man, Paul Schumann, who's nabbed in the act in New York City but given an alternative to the electric chair: to go to Berlin undercover as a journalist writing about the upcoming Olympics, in order to assassinate Col. Reinhard Ernst, the chief architect of Hitler's militarization, seen as a threat to American interests. A German spy onboard Paul's transatlantic liner grows suspicious and sends a warning to Germany before Paul discovers and kills him. Then in Berlin, Paul, en route to meet his contact, kills a second suspicious man who may be a storm trooper, setting Insp. Willi Kohl of the Berlin police, or Kripo, on his trail. Deaver weaves the three manhunts-Paul after his target, Kohl after Paul and the Nazi hierarchy after Paul-with a deft hand, bringing to frightening life the Berlin of 1936, a city on the brink of madness. Top Nazis, including Hitler, Himmler and Gering, make colorful cameos, but it's the smart, shaded-gray characterizations of the principals that anchor the exciting plot. An affecting love affair between Paul and his German landlady goes in surprising directions, as do the main plot lines, which move outside Berlin as heroes become villains and vice versa. This is prime Deaver, which means prime entertainment. Agent, Deborah Schneider. (July) Forecast: S&S is betting big on this title, with a 250,000 first printing. A 14-city author tour and Deaver's increasingly hot rep should ensure a solid sell-through. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
'His likeable and deftly drawn characters, the nimbleness of his plot and his relentless attention to detail make this too good a book to miss.' - The Age, Australia on GARDEN OF BEASTS'This is prime Deaver, which means prime entertainment.' Publisher's Weekly on Garden of BeastsThe most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world . . . [Deaver] has produced a stunning series of bestsellers with unique characterisation, intelligent characters, beguiling plots and double-barrelled and sometimes triple-barrelled solutions. - Daily TelegraphProbably the best book he's written . . . Enough of Deaver's trademark twists to satisfy his most diehard fans . . . A great read - ObserverA departure for Deaver, whose strong suspense novels have always been set in contemporary America, but an experiment that works beautifully . . . More than just a spy novel or a "what if" tale, this is a consummate thriller witha sure grasp of history and human emotions - GuardianTeeth-chattering suspense - Daily MailThe best psychological thriller writer around - The Times'Full on action for Deaver devotees and gripping stuff' - Daily Mirror
Narrator Jefferson Mays's polished performance amplifies the suspense in both the abridged and unabridged versions of this historical thriller by the author of the popular Lincoln Rhyme series. Paul Schumann, a German American living in New York City in 1936, is a conscientious Mafia hit man known for agreeing to dispose of only the true dregs of society. When he is captured by the Feds, he is given an alternative to prison-travel to Berlin to assassinate Reinhardt Ernst, the man behind Nazi Germany's rearmament. Getting to know many of the locals while posing as a reporter covering the Olympics, Paul glimpses firsthand the horrors perpetrated by Hitler and his National Socialist Party. Finding himself the victim of a double-cross, Paul must choose between saving himself and completing his mission. While the abridgment includes most of the important plot lines in this fast-moving tale, the listener misses out on Deaver's poignant characterizations of the ordinary German citizens sickened at what their beloved country is becoming under Hitler. The unabridged program is recommended for all public libraries.-Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-Paul Schumann, professional hit man, is arrested by the U.S. government. He is offered a deal: he can go to prison or he can take on the job of assassinating the man who controls Hitler's rearmament. Schumann leaves for Germany. He is hounded by the German police even as he is watched or chased by every kind of control group, including the Gestapo and Hitler's Youth. He gets some help from locals as he focuses on his target, Colonel Ernst. After complicated and unforeseen events, the story leads to an ending filled with surprises. Filling the tale with historical facts skillfully woven into the fiction, Deaver deftly places the characters into the chaos of 1936. American slang, German-language translations, food, and clothing are among the details used to create the setting. Individual characters clearly serve as examples of typical people caught up in the confusion and fear felt by the general population as they witness the rise of Hitler. Fans of action, adventure, or history will enjoy this fast-paced, tightly plotted story.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.