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Description - Ratlines by Stuart Neville

A German businessman is the third to die: murdered in a seaside guesthouse. A note pinned on his body is addressed to Colonel Otto Skorzeny, Hitler's favourite commando and once the most dangerous man in Europe. It warns Skorzeny that they are coming for him next. Lieutenant Albert Ryan is ordered by the Irish Minister for Justice, Charles Haughey, to protect Skorzeny, but Ryan defied his parents and scandalised his home town to join the British Army and fight the Nazi regime. Can Ryan bring himself to protect a man who caused the deaths of thousands: a man who now lives safely in Ireland in the lap of luxury?

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099552581
ISBN-10: 0099552582
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 26mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2013
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Ratlines by Stuart Neville

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Book Review: Ratlines by Stuart Neville - Reviewed by (08 Oct 2013)

I love a good World War Two thriller and am a sucker for Irish crime so to get both in one was something I was never expecting. Ireland’s role in the Second World War is rarely mentioned in history books. Ireland officially remained neutral during what they called ‘The Emergency’ but there was a high amount of anti-British feeling amongst stout republicans. This meant that there was even a pro-German sentiment during the war which led to Ireland being a place of refuge for Nazis and Axis collaborators after the war. One Nazi that settled in Ireland was Otto Skorzeny, an SS Colonel who famously rescued Mussolini in 1943. Stuart Neville takes these facts and weaves an impressive historical thriller.

Set in 1963, John F. Kennedy’s historical visit of Ireland is only weeks away. Ireland’s politicians are determined that his visit will be without incident. So when three foreign nationals with shady pasts are found murdered the mess needs to be cleaned up as quickly as possible. Lieutenant Albert Ryan, who fought for the British during the Second World War and has been shunned for doing so, is tasked with protecting Otto Skorzeny who has been singled out as the next target.

Ryan must choose between his country, which has treated him poorly, and his own moral code as he must protect a man whose ideals he fought against in the war. At the same time as dealing with this internal struggle Ryan must discover who is targeting ex-Nazis and why. He also needs to workout who he can really trust because everyone has their own motives and are prepared to do whatever it takes to get what they want.

This is a superb read. The twists and turns come as thick and fast as the action and keep you guessing right up to the last page. I found the historical stuff as fascinating and gripping as the fiction in between and hope we see more of Lieutenant Albert Ryan in the future.


Author Biography - Stuart Neville

Stuart Neville's first novel, The Twelve, was one of the most critically acclaimed crime debuts of recent years, winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best thriller. Collusion, Stolen Souls, Ratlines (shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger), The Final Silence and Those We Left Behind (a Richard and Judy Book Club choice) have garnered widespread praise, confirming his position as one of the most exciting crime authors writing today. www.stuartneville.com

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