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Double Cross Blind Hardcover – Mar 14 2005

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Hardcover, Mar 14 2005
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (March 14 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340836628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340836620
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

On the morning of December 1, 1941, at the start of Ross's debut thriller, American Thomas Wall wakes up in a London hospital, where he's recovering from wounds he suffered as a member of a Canadian unit massacred in battle on Crete. Thomas blames his diplomat brother, Earl, for betraying his unit to the Nazis and wants to know where Earl is. Later that day, a British intelligence officer persuades Thomas to pose as his brother in order to pump a captured German spy. Aware of Thomas's identity, the spy sets him on the trail of hidden microfilm containing information regarding the upcoming Japanese attack in the Pacific. Thomas attempts to enlist the aid of Earl's wife, Harriet, but as she works for British intelligence, she has her own plans. A by-the-numbers plot, clichéd minor characters (including cockney hit men and a gold-hearted stripper), protagonists as unlikable as the antagonists and a foreseeable conclusion (hint: America will go to war) all add up to a routine read. (July 12)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

This debut thriller joins a long list of espionage novels that use what-might-have-happened scenarios regarding the signature events of World War II (Ken Follett's Eye of the Needle, about a German spy's attempt to learn the location of the D-Day invasion, and Martin Cruz Smith's December 6, about events in Tokyo just prior to Pearl Harbor). Ross picks up on Cruz Smith's theme and Follett's setting in this suspenseful tale of an American soldier matching wits with a Nazi spy who possesses information about the upcoming Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Tom Wall must pose as his hated brother, Earl, an OSS agent who betrayed Tom's Canadian infantry unit, in order to interrogate the Nazi agent Sondegger, who will speak only to Earl. So begins a dizzying cat-and-mouse game in which switches and double switches abound, and the allegiances of all the principals are never clear until the end. Ross' grasp of the political dynamics behind Pearl Harbor gives the novel an extra dimension, despite his only limited success at building full-bodied characters. Still, a solid debut of definite interest to WWII espionage fans. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Interesting "What if..." which could have changed history Sept. 17 2005
By Tom Houlihan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting story about spies, intelligence gathering, and casualties of war. It's not overly long, and relatively easy to read. Although I pride myself on a pretty good vocabulary, there were a few times I had to go to the dictionary, as Ross managed to pull out some words that are rarely used!

The story was pretty interesting. Although I hope it's fiction, there was a certain level of plausibility in the plot. Essentially, the Germans found out about the Japanese plans to attack Pearl Harbor. Knowing that the last thing they needed was U.S. entry into the war, the Germans decided on a way to derail the plans of their Allies. What follows is the German effort to convince the Americans that they are threatened, while certain British interests don't want the message to get through.

Initially, the only problem I had was with character development. Some of the characters seemed to be very hollow, or shallow. However, by the time I finished, I felt that the lack of information for the reader was supposed to reflect the confusion and lack of knowledge of the protagonist, Tom Wall.

When reading a thriller like this, there are certain events, or sequences that are expected to happen. It's the nature of the beast, so to speak. However, Ross handles the plot line in a good way. The hurdles and pitfalls don't always happen in the way you would expect.

I enjoyed reading this story. I wouldn't have minded at all if it was a little longer. In that this is the author's first book, he's done a good job. It gives the reader a different kind of "what if," and I'd recommend it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Fast-paced WWII Thriller July 15 2005
By Constance - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I don't normally go in for books like this, but I found I couldn't put Double Cross Bind down. Yes, it's a World War II thriller, and we all know how WWII turned out, but Ross successfully takes us back to a time when no one knew what dramas were ahead - when the outcome of the war was impossible to predict. The tension, the high stakes, the sense of a life that was so different from ours all come through. The details that give a sense of place and time are all there, but they don't weigh the narrative down. It is a quick, exciting read and I recommend it unreservedly.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"The only answer to the past was the future" July 12 2005
By Luan Gaines - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This World War II era spy thriller is cast in London, where MI5 and the Germans have infiltrated each other's spy networks, double agents everywhere, turned and turned again. In the few days prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl harbor, Tom Wall, an American who has joined the British forces, is convinced to impersonate his brother, Earl, who has disappeared.

Earl Wall is a critical contact for Sondegger, a Nazi spy recently captured in London. Tom's only desire is to locate his brother, who he believes has betrayed Tom's unit in Crete, causing the deaths of countless soldiers. But Earl remains elusive, a cipher who cannot be found. If Tom has to cooperate with MI5 and tolerate Sondegger to get to his brother, so be it. At their first contact, Sondegger makes it clear to Tom that he knows he is not Earl. Still distracted by painful injuries and excessive medication, Tom keeps this critical information from the Brits, unsure what to do with this knowledge, but unwilling to lose his temporary autonomy. Meanwhile, yet another power player in the vast spy network has plans of his own for Tom and sends out two thugs to detain and question Tom Wall.

London is a cesspool of nefarious activity during this period, opposing factions meeting secretly to further their private agendas, the Germans as rigorous as the English, the stakes far too high for the losing side, each group driven by intense patriotism and allegiance. Sondegger is savage and unpredictable, taken captive on his own terms with a secret mission in mind. No matter what the precautions, the Brits continually underestimate his cunning. The German keeps his own counsel, planting hints of Earl's whereabouts to Tom, but engineering his own plan, in which Tom Wall plays a central part. The characters play out their roles, mere days before Pearl Harbor, a race against time with thousands of lives at stake. Tom is the pawn of all the players, Sondegger, Earl's, his wife, Harriet, MI5 and the OSS, but Tom is ignorant of his part, instinctively pursuing his brother for a moment of truth.

The author frames his story flawlessly, building the tension with each chapter as the operatives act out each minute detail of an ingenious plot. Time and place is perfectly rendered in a harrowing tale that is impossible to put down until all unravels in a burst of violence. Shadowed and menacing, Ross delivers a powerful rendition of a war-torn country riddled with spies, murderous fascists and an idealistic man tormented by the senseless waste of his troops, determined to mete out justice, regardless of the personal cost. Evil geniuses and patriotic heroes dance a macabre tango towards oblivion, where bombs light up the night sky and Americans watch pensively, unaware of the great conflagration soon to hit a quiet Hawaiian naval base. Luan Gaines/2005.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An interesting plot in need of a better writer Sept. 16 2005
By DL Simmons - Published on
Format: Hardcover
An interesting "what if" premise made tedious by less than inspired and very choppy writing. As this is his first book one can forgive the author, but not his editor. The writer is overly fond of evanescence in its various forms. Such a distinctive word used several times is annoying and should have caught the attention of an experienced editor. And by the way, the hero can certainly take a licking and keep on ticking...again and again and again. A few less descriptive beatings might have left a little more room for character development which is very much needed. One of the reasons I got the book was the glowing blurb by Daniel Silva. What was he thinking?
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book July 25 2005
By T. Kunikov - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since I've studied World War II for years I'm very skeptical when it comes to literature about it. I've read hundreds of fictional and non-fictional accounts, and this is one of the best that I've had the chance to read. I was up half the night finishing it. The battle scenes he recounts from Crete are very real and well done. The plot is imaginative and well shaped throughout the book, the ideas behind it are also realistic and fit in with the situation that the world found itself in during December of 1941. Definitely a book worth reading.