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Operation Napoleon Hardcover – Oct 19 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Canada (Oct. 19 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307359387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307359384
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.1 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #364,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“Gripping. . . . As political thrillers go, Operation Napoleon––its frozen secrets, ruthless killers, hapless victims and reluctant heroes––is about the best you can get.”

“Indriðason, one of the new breed of bestselling Scandinavian crime writers, has written another gripping thriller set in his native Iceland.”
 — The Peterborough Examiner

“Slick . . . and with enough chases to keep the reader turning the pages.” 
The Independent

“An international literary phenomenon––and it’s easy to see why. His novels are gripping, authentic, haunting and lyrical.”
 — Harlan Coben, author of Tell No One

From the Back Cover

From worldwide bestselling author Arnaldur Indridason comes a mesmerizing tour de force that takes readers deep inside the heart of a long-buried secret with huge international consequences.


In 1945, a German bomber crash-lands in Iceland during a blizzard. Puzzlingly, there are both German and American officers on board. One of the senior German officers claims that their best chance of survival is to try to walk to the nearest farm. He sets off, a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist, only to disappear into the white vastness…


Flash forward to the present. The U.S. Army is clandestinely trying to remove the wreck of an airplane from an Icelandic glacier. A young Icelander, Elías, inadvertently stumbles upon the excavation and then promptly disappears. But before he vanishes, he manages to contact his sister, Kristín. She embarks on a thrilling and perilous adventure, determined to discover the truth of her brother's fate--and solve the riddle of


--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Tom Tom on Jan. 2 2012
Format: Hardcover
I imagine most people who are interested in this book have come to it because they discovered Indridason's "Erlendur" novels, and they are keen to read anything else they can find by him. That is certainly the reason I picked up Operation Napoleon.

Operation Napoleon isn't terrible, and I powered my way through it fairly well, but if you're expecting the artistry and the low-key but shattering emotional impact of the Erlendur books, you're going to be disappointed. This is a start to finish "thriller" novel, and not really a very good one.

The "MacGuffin" (to use Hitchcock's term) of this book are the secret WW II papers that have lain inside a German airplane in an Icelandic glacier for 50 years. I won't tell you what the papers reveal, but they are pretty interesting - the "MacGuffin" Indridason dreams up for this book is a pretty good one.
The main character, Kristin, is also pretty good. You like her as a protagonist, which isn't always necessary, but which helps.

The problem for me is that a lot of things in this book are kind of ridiculous, or half-baked. Near the end of the novel the main bad guy stabs Kristin in the side with an awl, and the wound is described as "at least 10 cm deep". After this scene however, we follow Kristin through another chapter where the wound isn't even referred to, and when Indridason remembers that he has had Kristin stabbed, he sweeps it under the rug by saying that it was a closed-puncture (or something like that).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 29 2011
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book because of its' action sequences. There's quite a few chase scenes, several fighting scenes, and you can't leave out interrogations! so I flew through this book eagerly and thought it was pretty good. What I really thought was well done, was the translation job. Most books that have been translated have a tendency to be haphazard, and at times certain passages have to be read a few times over to get the gist of it. With this book there is no problem and the writing is clear, concise,and easily readable.

I had a hard time trying to like Kristin. It's not that she's not likable she's just, there for the story I suppose. I guess the action is just so intense that you don't really care about characters and development so no attachment is formed to any characters in the book. It also bugged me a lot that her ex boyfriends are lying about for convenience. Really??? an ex boyfriend would lend you his car without asking what you're going to do??? how is that even possible with a main character that seems to have barely any feelings at all?? I understand how she came to rely on Steve, it looked as if he still had feelings for her. However with her other ex, it just felt like he (and his car) was conveniently there to get the plot going. It's a little too good to be true for me.

The storyline is good, with enough suspense and action to get you going. The pace is actually quite quick and reading through the book will take no time at all. The main mystery and the 'what if' plot that's central to this entire novel is interesting. What was a little irritating was trying to figure out what it was.
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By Bookish on Oct. 29 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Operation Napoleon

Readers of Indridason’s crime fiction may find Operation Napoleon a bit of a shock: Villains, heroines and breathtaking chases are not what his readers have come to expect. Still, when one adjusts to the radical change of genre, the results do not disappoint. Operation Napoleon is a potboiler, replete with danger, hairsbreadth escapes, coincidence and nemesis. The plot driver is the Icelandic hatred of subjugation.

The story concerns the reverberations caused when a long lost nazi bomber reappears from its grave in the Vatnajokull glacier. The aircraft has a cargo which a small mysterious sub-group, hidden for years in the American military, must have. The plan to extract the plane secretly and to relocate its cargo is complicated when the story’s protagonist, Kristin, a young Icelandic lawyer, inadvertently gets in the way of the operation. She is prepared to risk her life for answers.

Operation Napoleon is an exciting blend of action and intrigue. Indridason avoids excess in the violence and the sex, instead concentrating on providing us with a feast of complex questions and cliffhanging escapes.
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By Sverre Svendsen TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 7 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not having read any of Indridason's detective mystery books, this action/thriller/mystery novel with a WWII theme made me wonder about his acclaimed success. To his credit, he manages to keep readers' attention so that, in spite of its faults, the book is a page-turner. But suspensefulness--although very important--isn't the only criteria on which to evaluate the effectiveness of a novel of this genre.

The plot lacks credibility and seems half-cooked. It assumes way too much. The reasoning behind "Operation Napoleon"'s legitimacy is dubious. There are numerous gaps in logic. The book can be characterized as lacking in follow-through from one chapter to the next. Most of all it creates an operational scenario which to most people with some knowledge of the American military and Icelandic politics could not have been carried out as given--definitely not to the magnitude described. "The Ugly American" stereotypes are excessively relied on to create sham loathing for the reader...way overdone. Kristin's decision to trek to the scene of the mayhem is an incredulous device to tie up the lose ends and lengthen the book. When all is said and done, the Americans' success in covering up their operations by lies, confusion and general befuddlement is also too much to swallow. The very ending of the book, 2005, left me asking "why go there"? Its revelation left more questions than answers.

I did keep turning the pages of this book, but in large measure (as it turned out) I was doing so hoping the writer's effort would make sense and give repose at the end. Alas, I did not get the satisfaction I anticipated.
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