Book Review - The One Man

by Andrew Gross (Macmillan) ISBN 9781509822812

Why would a man risk his life for someone he has never met? That is precisely what Nathan Blum has agreed to do. He is a young intelligence lieutenant in Washington D.C. Three years ago he was in Jewish ghetto in Krakow, from where he managed to escape. 

He joined the army looking for a better future having lost his family who had been murdered by the Nazis. He decodes messages from Poland, which is occupied by the Nazis. The US government now asks him to go back to Europe to rescue one man from a concentration camp in Poland. This is a risky mission, if not impossible. 

Alfred Mendl is a man in his fifties spending his final days in a Nazi death camp in Poland. He has also lost his family to the Nazis. He is a renowned physicist whose life work has been burned and completely destroyed by the Nazis. He and only one other in the world have this knowledge. The other is working for the Nazi war machine. His life is totally hellish and miserable. The only occasional pleasure that he has is watching a game of chess. 

Although it is a work of fiction, the situation in the camps is based on fact. It is also fact that the US is seeking to counteract the Nazis with a weapon to end the war called the Manhattan Project 1944. Andrew Gross has written together with James Patterson as well as solo. This may lead you to believe this is just another thriller but this book goes beyond that. 

The story is believable and the characters draw you in. You can feel the ghastly atmosphere and utter ruthlessness of the guards and the despicable behaviour of their supervisors. Their hatred and cruelty is tangible. The contrasts in each chapter enrich the story and add to its power. The suspense is compelling and completely gripping right till the end. 

I felt shattered and shaken to the core by the end. It was a great read. I can imagine it being made into a fantastic film. Highly recommended. 

Dawn Blankfield


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15 Seconds

by Andrew Gross (Harper Collins) ISBN: 9780007296903


Amanda is an unhappy teenager. She's high, on her way to work, when she loses control of the car she's driving. She kills a young mother and her eight week old son.


Plastic Surgeon, Dr Henry Steadman is on his way to a medical conference in Florida. He is stopped by police for no apparent reason. He is detained and manhandled. But that's just the beginning. A policeman is shot and he is framed for the murder.


The only person who believes he is innocent is Carrie Holmes, the woman who answers the phone when he calls the hotline set up to catch him.


Amanda and Henry’s stories are linked. Aren't they?

Intricately plotted, and perfectly paced, 15 Seconds is a gripping thriller. Clever writing, plausible twists and interesting characters elevate this story. 


Andrew Gross is a brilliant crime writer. I read this book in a day.


Amanda Patterson


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