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
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)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 on The King of Diamonds)
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 on The King of Diamonds)
Another literary success for [Simon Tolkien]...The claim comparing Simon Tolkien to Agatha Christie and John Grisham is not to be taken lightly ... a great read and a thoroughly engaging thriller. (Bookreporter.com on The King of Diamonds)
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 on The Inheritance)
Simon Tolkien's grandfather is J. R. R., but his new novel owes more to Agatha Christie--and Dan Brown. (New York Times on The Inheritance)
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 on The Inheritance)
Display[s] a narrative skill that the author of The Lord of the Rings would surely have recognized and admired. (Philadelphia Inquirer on The Inheritance)