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Spandau Phoenix: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A neo-Nazi/South African cartel plots to destroy Israel. BOMC selection in cloth.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Rudolph Hess--Spandau prisoner number 7--dies in 1987. When a secret "Hess diary" is found at Spandau by a West German policeman, the various police and intelligence agencies stationed in Berlin become even more interested in Hess's 1941 flight to England. Did Hess have highly placed contacts there? Was he alone? Was his well-trained double captured instead? The chain reaction from the diary's discovery explodes around West Germany, England, and South Africa, uncovering secret alliances and double agents. This first novel, which attempts to fill in history's blanks and to tie the past with the present, has action, characters, and violence to spare. But the body count is high, even for this genre, and the novel loses its impact long before the end of the drawn-out plot. An optional purchase for large popular fiction collections.
- V. Louise Saylor, Eastern Washington Univ. Lib., Cheney
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (April 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451179803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451179807
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg Iles was born in 1960 in Germany where his father ran the US Embassy medical clinic during the height of the Cold War. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1983 he performed for several years with the rock band Frankly Scarlet and is currently member of the band The Rock Bottom Remainders. His first novel, Spandau Phoenix, a thriller about war criminal Rudolf Hess, was published in 1993 and became a New York Times bestseller. Iles went on to write ten bestselling novels, including Third Degree, True Evil, Turning Angel, Blood Memory, The Footprints of God, and 24 Hours (released by Sony Pictures as Trapped, with full screenwriting credit for Iles). He lives in Natchez, Mississippi.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 22, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Greg Iles really packed the action into "Spandau Phoenix." I would have rated the book higher, but it is way too long and goes off on many unnecessary tangents. A tighter narrative would have made a more suspenseful, and enjoyable read. However, if you have the patience to hang-in through almost 700 pages, you may find this suspense thriller very worth while.
Berlin's Spandau Prison, where WWII Nazi war criminals were kept, was the last residence of Rudolph Hess, Prisoner #7, and Hitler's one time second in command. Hess left Nazi Germany in 1941 and flew a plane to Great Britain. His reasons, or mission, for going to the UK were never revealed. Hitler publicly called Hess insane for making the flight and parachuting into enemy territory. When Hess supposedly committed suicide in his prison cell in 1987, he was Spandau's last occupant. The prison was then scheduled to be destroyed. As crowds gathered to watch the demolition of this famous building, Berlin police were assigned to maintain crown control. KGB agents diligently photographed the crowd for later identification by the East German Stasi. Among the observers was an Israeli agent. A German police captain, in charge of the contingent guarding the rubble, unexpectedly finds mysterious papers hidden in what was Hess' cell. The papers were all written in Latin, a language he does not understand, except for the first paragraph, which is in German. The paragraph interested the police officer enough for him to bring the papers home to his wife to translate.
Thus begins a desperate and brutal quest by the Soviets, British, Americans, and an Israeli agent for the Spandau Diaries - a search which leaves many dead bodies in its wake. Was Rudolph Hess really Prisoner #7, or did he have a double?
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Edwards VINE VOICE on November 1, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rudolf Hess...did he REALLY commit suicide as recorded by history in the Spandau prison in the late 80's? He reportedly hung himself. The man reportedly couldn't even raise his arms above his shoulders due to severe joint problems...and yet this old man finally did himself in...or DID he? The premise here is just plain GREAT. Mr. Iles has created an impossible-to-put-down thriller based upon REAL facts and actual instances and ties them together seamlessly. I have ALWAYS enjoyed the way Jack Higgins could take a real event from WWII and tie it in with a fictional event and pull it off...well the heir to the throne that Higgins dominated in the 70's has arrived, and Greg Iles IS his name. This is a large book, and it's totally filled with intrigue and suspense. Did Rudolf Hess actually live past the War and is he living in South America? What do the Spandau papers contain? What of the failed mission that the 'real' Hess supposedly undertook at the beginning of the war...was it REALLY him? Why was it he never recognized his own children after the war? Rudolf Hess was a WWI war hero and received a battle wound...however the man reportedly to BE Hess in Spandau Prison did not have that scar... Too good to be true? Well many of these are true facts and that is where Iles takes you into speculative fiction, and he does it very well. He almost gets you to believe that maybe, just maybe his version of what happened IS the real thing. From a manhunt that spans Europe to Africa, 'Spandau Phoenix' really IS an incredible adventure thriller of the highest order. Better than anything Jack Higgins ever produced (pretty high praise, dontcha think?). Give it a shot, sit back and enjoy. Iles manages to give us an adrenaline rush that is totally satisfying and makes you sad as the book comes to a close. Simply put: 'Spandau Phoenix' is absolutely wonderful.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Hogan VINE VOICE on June 13, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rudolph who? Who knows. The story is sooooooo fantastic that you will have a hard time distinguishing reality and fantasy in this amazing work of fiction. This is easily one of my favorite books of all time. Iles paints brilliant characters who move quickly in an intricately woven plot. How does the "evil spirit of Facism" continue 40 years after the war is over? This book is convincing in it's presentation of this idea (and many other subtle and not so subtle political ideologies) that will have you thinking and rethinking your views of the current geopolitical scheme of the world. There is nothing negative to say about this book except that it ends... Absolutely brilliant. Kevin Hogan, ...
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Davy on January 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is simply an outstanding book. Right from the get go Iles grabs you and doesn't let loose. The book flies by as you gobble up the words, which lead from scene to scene. Parallel timeframes are traced up to the same moment but through a different set of eyes. Iles juggles many balls in the air at the same time but manages to keep them separated and suspended together. A very carefully woven fabric of intrigue entices the reader to keep going. The violence in the book is appropriate to the subject matter and is never gratuitous. There are some nasty people in the world and Iles is writing about the nastiest. There are no super heroes. Many times it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad. There are no writer's crutches, gimmicks, or supernatural ploys to spoil the suspense. You don't know what will happen next and that makes for an excellent book. The sheer volume of events and characters make this a book inappropriate for readers with a short attention span. This book is not the mindless, pulp fiction pap that fills so many best seller lists today. This book has some meat to it, which is so much more satisfying than most of the formula novels churned out for mass consumption. When I finished the book I felt I had read my money's worth. Mr. Iles has another satisfied customer.
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