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A. J. Cherrington (New Zealand)
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Gathering Of Spies
Gathering Of Spies
by John Altman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
43 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Scary Girl Spy!, April 3 2003
John Altman launches into the WW2 spy game with this rather cold and brutal story of a Nazi spy who is sent to America in the 1930s. Katarina Heinrich is told to await further instructions and is eventually told to spy on that country's Atomic energy program. Katarina is soon on it and starts to leave a trail of blood which is picked up by an English professor who has a wife in one of the Poland death camps, and will do anything to get her back. His Government soon gives him the job of chasing this woman in exchange for the freedom of his wife.
A very good storyline involving the Atomic bomb project and the race between Germany and the USA to see who will win.
It also plays on the fact that the Allies and Axis still had communication with each other underground while the fighting continued above.
Although a great spy capiable of taking on James Bond, Katarina isn't successful in delivering her orders but the ride to the ending is exciting and very messy, well done John.
A little too violent in some respects but very highly recommended as it is a hard book to put down. No doubt a potential movie here. Five Stars!

The Runner
The Runner
by Christopher Reich
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
70 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Run for it!!!, Dec 18 2002
This review is from: The Runner (Mass Market Paperback)
An unbelievably well laid out book that is fun to read and hard to put down.
All the hallmarks of a potential movie to be made.
The story gives us an insight to an almost forgotten era- the immediate post European war months, before the fall of Japan.
Based on a cat and mouse chase accross ravaged Germany by a former NY detective (now army major) who is after Germany's Olympic hero (now a SS war criminal), Reich's idea of using the simmering tension of the Potsdam conference and the mutual distrust of UK/US - USSR scenario is a good one.
We must remember that the opinion of the time was a new war with Stalin could break out within minutes and as we all know, the Allies had the hot headed generals that would have gladly used the still intact bloated Allied army and a rearmed German Army to execute the plan.
So General Patton is used as the lynch pin in this whole affair, which as it is known, held very extremist views on life and his well known death in a road accident is given that twist historians have theorised all along.
Enough spoiling...Read.

Xpd
Xpd
by Len Deighton
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
69 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Written by Fleming, would have made a great Bond title., Dec 3 2002
This review is from: Xpd (Paperback)
Winston Churchill the trator?
The events of the times that this story is created certainly leaves you wondering did he?...
Only our childern will find out when they are in their 70s, as the documents that have been seized from the so called German mines and caves are finally opened.
This story is based on the idea that American GIs accidently stumbled across the famous Hitler Minutes that reveiled the idea of an early peace offer that would have seen Germany become a superpower that would take on Russia with total confidence.
MI6 is left with the job of making sure that secerts remain secrets. So when an unknown Hollywood movie producer announces that a movie based on those uncertain days is to be made, MI6 takes notice and takes notice even more when the true nature of the storyline shows a more sinister plot. To discredit Winston Churchill.
Full of intrigue, murder and skulduggery, it is a popular read with a chilling ending.
Len Deighton has used this interesting topic for a great, if sometimes distracting, story.
One day all will be revealed.

Resurrection Day
Resurrection Day
by Brendan Dubois
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
33 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars It Was That Close!, Dec 3 2002
Brendan DuBois' alternate history of the Cuban Missle crisis is a chillingly stark reminder of how close the World came to mass destruction.
Set in post apocolyptic America, we see a gungho former soldier now reporter who has stumbled onto a story that could have far reaching consequences for the USA and the now world dominant Great Britain and Europe.
With the USSR a nuclear wasteland for the next 10 000 years a more forceful UN lead inititive to rid the planet of all nuclear weapons sees the battered former superpower suddenly placed in the sights of a British lead invasion.
The last moments of John F Kennedy's life is the pivitol storyline of this novel, just what really happened in the last few hours of Washington D.C.'s existance. Did Kennedy escape to South America or did he die a hero at his oval office desk?
A chilling example of just how heady those days were is played out in a history lession given by the base commander in New York City.
New York was badly damaged by Atomic strikes but as the story will show, the big apple is surprisingly resilient.
Alternate storylines are always fun and this is no exception.
Just like Robert Harris' Fatherland we can see a world that is rather dark and scary but thankfully not real.

Strike from the Sea
Strike from the Sea
by Douglas Reeman
Edition: Paperback
51 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars It Really Did Exist, Nov. 8 2002
This review is from: Strike from the Sea (Paperback)
This was my first real novel. The front cover is what sold me all those years ago.
A great story based in 1941 about a young submarine commander who has already seen enough action fighting for his country's (Great Britain) life against the onslaught of Nazi Germany.
After losing his previous command cause by a fluke attack in the fiords of Norway, Commander Robert Ainslie has been assigned to Singapore on a secret mission to capture the revolutionary advanced French submersible "Soufriere" before the ever advancing Japanese forces in the region discover her first.
Sucessfully finding and capturing the still French flagged sub, The now Captain Ainslie just bearly escape with his new charge from right under the Japanese's noses.
Returning to Singapore the Soufriere is layed up and studied over untill December the 7 when all hell in the Pacific breaks loose.
During this time Robert Ainslie meets a love interest and starts to bond with his crew as he and his monster of the deep are sent out on secret missions to rescue and shore up the ailing Allied effort on the Malayan Penninsular.
Fully aware of his previous command's untimley demise, Robert seems to protect is charge and crew and soon builds up enough confidence to really use the Sofriere to it's full adantage.
The story concludes dramatically with the fall of Singapore and we leave Captain Robert Ainslie blooded but battle hardened for the long struggle ahead. Along with his massive charge and the remains of his crew, he sets about cleeveing his way through the Japanese forces in the Pacific.
What a shame there was no sequal.
Amazingly Douglas Reeman based his submarine adventure on an actual vessel the french did build in the 1930's. Fully equipped with the weponery and small aircraft per "Soufriere" she was to be one of a class. However just like everything french, she was expensive to build and when the dark clouds of war began to fall on Europe, France's decision to go ahead with the construction of the class came far too late.
Based in Indochina (thus avoiding German capture)and used by the free french navy this real "Soufriere" escaped the Japanese but came to grief at the mouth of the Panama Canal after colliding with a supply ship some time in 1942. She was on her way to the Atlantic Theater to help escort the large convoys that were being decimated by the U-boat fleets at that time.

The Two Georges
The Two Georges
by Richard Dreyfuss
Edition: Hardcover
28 used & new from CDN$ 1.78

4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite!...Things Much The Same ., Aug. 22 2002
This review is from: The Two Georges (Hardcover)
This is one of those popular fictional stories that leave you asking the question- Was the United States such a good idea? It really dosen't matter.
The idea of the late twentieth century storyline in this book being based on our 1930's tecnology was a little bit unbelievable.
The North American Union would have been an independent Commomwealth country by now, Philidelphia probibly the capital city, although the fictional Victoria could have been created at the start of the 20th century ( after that Queen's death)as Canberra in Australia had. Being peacefull, non-violent, understanding of others, the NAU would've still developed on the lines that run parallel to our USA reality ie: a superpower that even Russia and Germany would never have touched. Which in the end would have pushed aside Great Britain as the heart of a global empire.
Aviation, Radio, Television, Computer technology, Entertainment and all the things that we take for granted today would still have existed in the NAU late 20th century, you can't stop human development.... Anyhow the storyline WAS good and apart from silly little things such as cross country airship travel (more useful for overseas services)and some stupid names for cities (New Liverpool? England would have kept L.A. although Astoria instead of Chicago does have a nice ring to it.), proved to be a good read.
Based on an assasination attempt on the visiting King Charles by Irish trouble makers, the plot soon thickens into a more broader storyline that involves a young detective, a very clever woman and an adventure that is enjoyable to follow.
From the start, famous people of our reality are represented in this storyline and are all linked together with a great and sometimes humorous plot. All over a stolen painting with a nasty surprise inbedded in it.
No doubt to that fact that Harry Turtledove's excellent record of mastering alternate history was used.

Walk in Hell (The Great War, Book Three)
Walk in Hell (The Great War, Book Three)
by Harry Turtledove
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
73 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Walk in Hell...But don't Stop!!, Aug. 22 2002
My introduction to the topsey-turvey world of Harry Turtledove-The Great War Walk In Hell-soon had me hooked on this great storyline reaching back to the beginning with How Few Remain and subsequently, American Front.
A whole new world was laid out in front of me and I'm glad it's fantasy. There are few worse scenarios that would have topped the cataclysmic changes to the state of world affairs than that of the creation of the CSA.
As I have stated in my other reviews of this epic storyline, Walk In Hell introduced me to the strong cast of characters that Mr Turtledove has essembled.
However the storyline is free flowing and easy to grasp for those-such as myself- who picked this book up and read it without any inclination of an exciting past.
The events depicted are clear and quite possible as Harry Turtledove keeps basic reality in check. I was pleasently surprised to met General Armstrong Custer, a reminder to those that events could have been different.
This book is set in a time when the world was still ruled by empires and dictated to accordingly.
The USA is still reeling under the anger of losing and having to wear the thought of living next to the CSA, a country with the backing of Great Britan and France, and Canada to the north.
Smoat twice in it's history by this abborhation of international affairs, the USA has found and is using her ally, Imperial Germany.
This time the tide looks to be turning in the USA's favor, the CSA is fighting insurreccction by it's long suffering black population and new weapons of mass distruction, gas and the new fangled "Barrel" are unleshed with the all too familair consequences.
The story ends on a knife edge and you are left hanging for more..."Breakthroughs".
Naturally you would track back into the past and read How Few Remain and American Front to get a jest on this amazing history.

How Few Remain
How Few Remain
by Harry Turtledove
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
80 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars In The Beginning..., Aug. 5 2002
I stumbled across Harry Turtledove by the front cover of "Walk In Hell", the second book of the Great War trilogy. I picked the book up and started reading. Within no time I was hooked on the intriuging story line.
This left me with no choice but to "back track" to American Front which then told me to back track further to How Few Remain.
For me it was a prequil to Walk In Hell and I was impressed with the introduction of the reason why the CSA now existed. It showed us how close reality for our world came to changing. The North American map at the front is a great guide and will change dramatically over the next sixty odd years.
The what might have been scenario if the USA had've held together was well played out - a classic alternate history play on the actual.
Famous people of the times are thrown into a whole new world.
The central charcters of Armstrong Custer and Theodore Roosevelt and their bitter dislike for each other are established in the first of this epic story of the alternate world Turtledove has created, an upside down state of world affairs.
Prehaps a little more could've been focussed at the start on the final battle that would turn the tide in favour of the creation of the CSA and the role Great Britan and France would play.
Thankfully reality is the world we live in now, not perfect but look at the possible alternative.

It leaves you wondering if Great Britan would've become the enemy of the USA if secession had've succeeded. Personally I'd doubt it but we (thankfully) will never know that outside the world of Harry Turtledove...A great start with a twisted ending, the storyline flows along quite nicely and is an easy read (sadly the follow up editions post WW1 do tend to fail in this department).
Five stars *****

American Front (The Great War, Book One)
American Front (The Great War, Book One)
by Harry Turtledove
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
81 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars It Was Always Going To Happen.., Aug. 5 2002
Before reviewing this edition I would like to say that it was the immediate companion "Walk In Hell" that I read first so I have treated "How Few Remain" and this masterpiece "American Front" first of the Great War trilogy as prequils.
This edition locked into place the start of the Great War and the link to the Second Mexican war.
In reality Harry Turtledove should have placed a bridging novel between "How Few Remain" and this one to cover the years 1882 - 1913 with a little more depth. It would have been nice to see how the Confederacy coped with freeing the slaves, the rise of Teddy Roosevelt and the San Fransisco earthquake.
As with How Few Remain we are given the reason for the global situation the Turtledove world is in at present(sic). A reminder that the USA's hand was forced into submission by Great Britan and France.
Now the USA has entered the European war thus making it a global conflict, on the side of Germany, with revenge against those that weakened it. The CSA, France, Great Britan and Canada.
Faces from How Few Remain show up but as time has moved on they have become older and in some cases, none the wiser.
Roosevelt is a tough hard hitting president and his most senior General, Custor, a bombastic and defiant old man. The two strong personalities enevitable collide after years of resentment...
New Characters make an appearance and some faces will become all too familiar over the next twenty or so years.
It is the first time that the CSA slave/labor issue finally gets a conclusion that leads to bloodshed and anarchy that will start to derail the CSA. Once again watch the map, it's going to change.
The variation on Utah "Beehive Nation" is good but I found it unbelievable that one of reality's most loyal member states of the USA is given such a hard time in this edition as it had in the previous. However we are introduced to one of the conflicts more colorful characters - Gordon McSweeny.
We are introduced to a gunnery saregent fighting for the CSA, Jake Featherston, a US fisherman called George Enos, a CSA steel worker named Jefferson Pinkard, a CSA submarianer Cpt Kincad, a US pilot Moss fighting in the cold skies of Canada.
Once again a strong female cast is repersented and they all come to the fore including the most formidible of all, Anne Collerton...watch this space!
Lots more faces inside including to totally different Canadian Families and the variations on their lives which have to suffer the rigours of war and a suprise outcome.
A free flowing and exciting storyline that ends on a high. Five Stars*****

How Few Remain
How Few Remain
by Harry Turtledove
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
80 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars In The Beginning..., Aug. 5 2002
I stumbled across Harry Turtledove by the front cover of "Walk In Hell", the second book of the Great War trilogy. I picked the book up and started reading. Within no time I was hooked on the intriuging story line.
This left me with no choice but to "back track" to American Front which then told me to back track further to How Few Remain.
For me it was a prequil to Walk In Hell and I was impressed with the introduction of the reason why the CSA now existed. It showed us how close reality for our world came to changing. The North American map at the front is a great guide and will change dramatically over the next sixty odd years.
The what might have been scenario if the USA had've held together was well played out - a classic alternate history play on the actual.
Famous people of the times are thrown into a whole new world.
The central charcters of Armstrong Custer and Theodore Roosevelt and their bitter dislike for each other are established in the first of this epic story of the alternate world Turtledove has created, an upside down state of world affairs.
Prehaps a little more could've been focussed at the start on the final battle that would turn the tide in favour of the creation of the CSA and the role Great Britan and France would play.
Thankfully reality is the world we live in now, not perfect but look at the possible alternative.

It leaves you wondering if Great Britan would've become the enemy of the USA if secession had've succeeded. Personally I'd doubt it but we (thankfully) will never know that outside the world of Harry Turtledove...A great start with a twisted ending, the storyline flows along quite nicely and is an easy read (sadly the follow up editions post WW1 do tend to fail in this department).
Five stars *****

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