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Orders from Berlin (Inspector Trave) Hardcover – December 11, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Trave (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st Printing edition (December 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312632142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312632144
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Tolkien’s previous two novels featuring Oxford copper Bill Trave have been set in the 1950s, but the crimes under investigation had roots in WWII. This time Tolkien moves back to 1940 and the height of the Blitz. Trave is a young police investigator in London tracking the murder of Albert Morrison, the former head of MI6. The victim’s son-in-law is the likely suspect, and Trave’s boss, who prefers quick convictions, facts be damned, is ready to close the case. Thanks to a curious note found on Morrison’s body, though, Trave smells a rat—and not just any rat, but one that could suggest a plot to assassinate Winston Churchill. Tolkien effectively layers into the tale a wealth of fascinating historical detail, including meaty appearances by Churchill, Hitler, and Gestapo head Reinhard Heydrich. The action plays out dramaticallly against falling bombs, nights in the shelters, Churchill’s Whitehall bunker, and all the archetypal trimmings of life during the Blitz. The climax seems a bit over the top, but the richness of the characters and the vivid sense of daily life in the midst of history carry the day in high style. --Bill Ott

Review

Praise for Orders from Berlin

“Jack Higgins fans will enjoy Tolkien’s exciting third suspense novel featuring Det. Insp. William Trave…  Heartfelt evocations of the horrors of war, in particular the effects of the bombing raids on Londoners, show Tolkien has upped his game.” –Publishers Weekly

 

“In the early years of World War II, a plot as ingenious as it is outrageous unfolds in London and Berlin… Satisfying twists and authentic WWII elements should keep readers engaged.” --Kirkus

 

“Tolkien effectively layers into the tale a wealth of fascinating historical detail, including meaty appearances by Churchill, Hitler, and Gestapo head Reinhard Heydrich…the richness of the characters and the vivid sense of daily life in the midst of history carry the day in high style.”

Booklist

 

Orders From Berlin is a novel that is as historically rich and evocative as it is suspenseful and riveting…[Mr. Tolkien] transports the reader flawlessly across the line from history to fiction…compelling.”

Santa Barbara News Press

 

“Tolkien, a former barrister, writes with the keen and penetrating eye of a man well used to seeing beneath surfaces and with the imagination of someone who’s at home with both history and literature.”

Santa Barbara Independent

 

“Historical thriller fans will enjoy the sleuthing into the potential assassin’s motivations, the conflicts between characters, and the well-researched portrayal of war-torn London.”

Library Journal

 

“Filled with action and taut suspense, readers will believe they are in London during the Nazi air blitz as the raids impact the case. Orders From Berlin is a strong whodunit wrapped inside a powerful espionage thriller.”

---The Mystery Gazette blog

Praise for The King of Diamonds

 

**Named one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Fiction Mysteries of 2011**

 

 

"Compulsively readable. As Tolkien lays out a story that's grounded in diamond-dealing and the Holocaust, the tension builds with inexorable strength. And Tolkien's nuanced portrait of the Traves is a compassionate study in the travails of marriage. Crafted with cunning and imbued with menace, The King of Diamonds adds luster to Tolkien's growing reputation as a brilliant star in the thriller firmament." --Richmond Times Dispatch

 

"A thick web of family tensions and psychological dysfunction with a whodunit chaser, Tolkien's third novel (The Inheritance, 2010, etc.) is elegantly written, with Masterpiece Theatre pacing and embellishments." --Kirkus, starred review

 

“Another literary success for [Simon Tolkien]…The claim comparing Simon Tolkien to Agatha Christie and John Grisham is not to be taken lightly.  The ironic part is just how true this statement is.  The King of Diamonds combines a deeply layered mystery with several interesting characters along with the intrigue of criminal trails and police chases.  Set against very real historical context like the Holocaust and the hunt for Adolf Eichmann… gives much credibility to a great read and a thoroughly engaging thriller.” –Bookreporter.com

 

Critical Acclaim for Simon Tolkien and The Inheritance

 

“Tolkien’s writing has a timeless quality [and] the haunting undertones of other great masters of mystery.” –USA Today

 

“A fine novel. A thinking person’s Da Vinci Code.” --Chicago Tribune

 

“Simon Tolkien’s grandfather is J. R. R., but his new novel owes more to Agatha Christie—and Dan Brown.” --New York Times

 

"A deft combination of Agatha Christie manor-house whodunit, Erle Stanley Gardner courtroom drama and Dan Brown thriller, The Inheritance is nonetheless unique to its creator. And Tolkien, with this compelling read, proves himself worthy—and then some—of his literary pedigree."  --Richmond Times Dispatch

 

“Display[s] a narrative skill that the author of The Lord of the Rings would surely have recognized and admired.” --Philadelphia Inquirer

 

“A first-rate writer…Written with great surety and absolutely compelling.” --Booklist (starred review)

 

“This second novel (after The Final Witness) by J.R.R. Tolkien's grandson is a legal thriller, World War II historical novel, and Da Vinci Code treasure hunt all rolled into one… an absorbing 1950s-era mystery.” --Library Journal


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Customer Reviews

It has a good story that's well written and exciting.
Sue Munson
Also the principal characters were not very believable.
Jacob Feldman
The story is fast-paced and kept me glued to the pages.
Debra L. Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Debra L. Martin on December 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
ORDERS FROM BERLIN takes the reader back to 1940s when London suffers a bombing blitz almost nightly. Adolf Hilter wants to negotiate a truce with Winston Churchill, but Churchill won't negotiate. This is the conflict at the heart of this thriller. The author weaves an intense story of fact and fiction. If Churchill is taken out of the picture would the war have ended differently?

Gestapo agent Reinhard Heydrich assures Hilter that he has a mole hidden deep in MI6 and an assassination plot is hatched to take out Churchill. With the suspicious death of a former MI6 ex-chief, Deputy-chief Alec Thorn is on the case. He begins to piece together clues from a coded message found in the dead man's pocket and finds himself being pulled into a conspiracy of the unthinkable.

The story is fast-paced and kept me glued to the pages. Would Thorn find the mole in time? The author takes you on a thrilling ride of unexpected twists and turns in the story that were surprising and engrossing. Even though history has proven that Churchill wasn't assassinated, I was still reading with bated breath at the end of the book. Fans of spy stories and thrillers will thoroughly enjoy this book. Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Yikes! I had no idea that this was a third book to a series, or I would have checked out the others before devouring this one. Good thing it can still be read as a stand-alone read.

This was my first Simon Tolkien book, and I absolutely LOVED it! From start to finish I was pulled into this gloomy war era of the 1940s, and was completely lost in it. There was never a dull moment.

It's the 1940s. London. And there is a war raging on. Bombs are dropped, people are dying, and in the mist of it all-the ex-chief of MI6-Albert Morrison has been murdered. Young policeman, Trave, along with his chief inspector Quaid is on the case, and finds out that Alec Thorn-the deputy head of MI6 has visited Morrison on the day of his death. Thorn, who's also a close friend of the Morrison family, is being suspected. With a secret note that has been found in Morrison's coat pocket-a clue that may suggest the plan to assassinate Churchill-Britain's leader, Trave goes against all orders that may cause him-not only his job but his life ...to solve this mystery and make things right.

What I loved:

Throughout this book, I had a series of mixed emotions. I smiled, I felt panicked, and I ... did not cry ... okay ... I had teary moments. But what I especially loved about this book is that each character held on their own; and I was able to hate, yet, pity and sympathize with the villains, at every turn of page.

With an amazing storyline, powerful-entrancing characters, and the perfect pace of happenings, Orders from Berlin has to be the best Mystery/Detective/Thriller book of 2012 ... at least in my case!

Definitely a recommend for Mystery/Detective lovers!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Quixote010 VINE VOICE on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I principally enjoy historical thrillers/mysteries and was fascinated with this what-if of having someone with England's MI6 plotting to assassinate Churchill. Such is the plot of this tale which has been reviewed and explained eloquently on these pages. Let me give you my likes and dislikes and why I rated it a 3.

First and foremost, any intrigue is taken out by mid-book. Early on, we know conclusively who the spy is, and we have a good idea as to why he is committed to killing Churchill. The particulars aren't explained, but they have little relevance as the plot unfolds. Given that, our interest moves to discovering how our hero will capture the cur.

What really makes you want to read the book, though, is the author's clear and distinct images of war-torn England during the early years of the war. Tolkien does a nice job of transporting you you to the subways, the neighborhoods, the countryside, and even the bombed streets as you live with the British as they manage events.

I liked the inclusion of the "plans" of the German hierarchy as they organized their war efforts, and could easily understand why our villain turned. However, the lack of intrigue and somewhat straight-forward ness of the tale made it a ho-hum read to me. I would read his other books of this author's genre (I didn't realize there were others) simply for the detail and the imagery of the war.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In 1940 Gestapo Chief Reinhard Heydrich has planted a mole inside British MI6. Meanwhile in London, someone shoves former MI6 Chief Albert Morrison over a banister outside his apartment. His horrified daughter Ava watches her dad plunge to his death, but cannot identify the killer due to the darkened streets.

Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector John Quaid almost immediately decides Ava's husband Bertie killed his father-in-law. Quaid's employee Detective William Trave believes the case is much more than a family matter as he believes the deceased's previous occupation is involved with his death; especially after he found a strange note in Albert's pocket and that the MI6 Deputy Chief Alec Thorn visited him earlier on that fatal day. Trave theorizes that the county's ex spymaster was silenced before he could expose a traitor.

The third terrific Trave historical police procedural actually occurs almost two decades before the previous two investigations (see The Inheritance and The King of Diamonds). Filled with action and taut suspense, readers will believe they are in London during the Nazi air blitz as the raids impact the case. Orders From Berlin is a strong whodunit wrapped inside a powerful espionage thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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