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The Cairo Code: A Thriller Paperback – April 19, 2016
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From Publishers Weekly
First published in slightly different form in 1999 under the title The Sands of Sakkara, this richly atmospheric thriller from Meade (Snow Wolf) examines the shifting nature of loyalty, patriotism, and love. In 1939, Johann "Jack" Halder, born of a Prussian father and an American mother, and his childhood friend Harry Weaver meet in Cairo on an archeological dig. Both men fall in love with Rachel Stern, another member of the team. When war is declared, they are inducted into the service of their respective countries. The Germans enlist Jack in a plot to assassinate a leader of the Allies; the Americans charge Harry with stopping him. Spies, counterspies, and the denizens of Cairo's murky underworld lend color as the lines between good and bad become increasingly blurred. This satisfying read includes a fast-paced plot, intriguing interpretations of historical fact, and characters forced to take a close look at their motives. (Mar.)\n
"This satisfying read includes a fast-paced plot, intriguing interpretations of historical fact, and characters forced to take a close look at their motives." (Publishers Weekly)
"As in the author's previous World War II blockbusters, Brandenburg and Snow Wolf, former journalist Meade knows how to blend his copious historical research into an intriguing fictional frame." (Amazon.com)
"he neatly turned final twist... the Nazi-heavy plot,and its Hollywood-exotic Egyptian backdrop capture the softest part of the imagination, rendering the story absorbing." (Publishers Weekly)
"Meade weaves well-developed characters into a complex plot that moves at a brisk pace. His vivid descriptions of the sights and sounds of Egypt made me feel like I was back at Sakkara." (San Francisco Examiner)
“Compelling.” (Raleigh News & Observer)
“Meade captures the flavor of the era, the war and the people.” (Daily Oklahoman)
“A non-stop World War II thriller that will prove much enjoyment to fans of the sub-genre. The story line uses authentic events, which enhance the speed of the novel... Glenn Meade is quickly attaining a reputation for historical thrillers.” (Midwest Book Review)
“A sizzling read, packed with action, great characters, and adventure writing of the highest caliber.” (Irish-American News)
“A heart-wrenching tale of friendship, love and treachery set against the exotic and intriguing backdrop of wartime Egypt.” (Sullivan County Democrat)
“Terrific entertainment, a page-turner in the best tradition of thrillers. It's also unsettlingly plausible.” (Campbell Armstrong)
“Ingenious ... [Meade] spins out this involving yarn with skill and clarity ... An outstanding premise!” (Publishers Weekly)
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Top Customer Reviews
There was a romance thread running throughout the story like the first Indiana Jones movie but in this novel two close friends are in love with the same woman. The author does a great job of having the reader instantly care about the three main characters. It starts out back to when the three met working on an archeological dig in Cairo Egypt. Rachel Stern’s dad is running the site. Jack Halder flew in from Germany and Harry Weaver from America to work on the dig. Surprise to all both men fell in love with the country and Rachel Stern. Rachel liked them both. They all had a photo showing “three young smiling people, their arms around one another, standing in the desert sands at Sakkar. Each claiming that the summer of 1939 was the happiest of their lives.”
I just want to say here that there were a few romance scenes that were mainly left up to your imagination and they were chased through a brothel but nothing is described in detail. There were 4 or 5 times (throughout the 578 pages) the author used the word Damn; we are talking war here - it was used in context to the situation. Along with smoking cigarettes and drinking; all signs of the times.
Life changed for everyone when WWII began; everyone was affected including these three friends. Each went their separate ways after 1939. None of them would have guessed they’d ever meet up again. War has a funny way of creating impossible situations.
The mission that took place in this novel was embellished through the authors’ imagination. The author says, “The Cairo code is a work of fiction tempered with a measure of truth…that the Nazis intended to assassinate President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill during a series of important allied conferences that took place in the Middle East in late 1943 in a historical fact.”
This was news to me. I’m not a history buff but this fascinated me. I had known many attempts were made to wipe out Hitler but I had no idea about the attempts on Roosevelt and Churchill.
This was a terrific gripping story masterfully written; a thrilling read I couldn’t put down.
It’s a heart-wrenching tale of friendship, love and treachery. Set against the exotic and intriguing back drop of wartime Egypt.
This would make a great book club pick, there is so much to discuss. It’s rich in characterization and plot as they maneuvered the crazy, horrifying situations of WWII.
This is a new author to me. Glenn Meade was born in Dublin, in 1957. He worked in the field as a pilot training for air Lingus for many years and as a journalist for the Irish times. I’m so glad this authors book was recently translated into English so more people can enjoy his novels.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Howard Books publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! [...]
The Book Club Network blog [...]
Book Fun Magazine [...]
Hitler had the impression that if this invasion were allowed to take place it would be the capstone on the defeat of Germany which he felt was already started. He ordered the attempt to assassinate both Roosevelt and rChurchill with the emphasis on murdering the US president as primary.
Major Johann Halder a brilliant agent of the Abwere was assigned to head the attempt. Major Halder was assigned Rachael Stern an Egyptologist to accompany him to supply credibility in indicating that they were in Cairo to reexamine tombs that both had known prior to the war while with their families excavating those tombs. Miss Stern, of Jewish descent was being held at a concentration camp and released to Major Halder with the promise that she would be freed after the successful venture. And likewise her parents who were being held prisoner by the Nazis.
The Americans getting wind of the plot assigned Lt Colonel Harry Weaver to go after Halder and his party. Weaver was one the best officers the U.S. had and was thought to be the soldier that could foil the plot.
The caveat in this was that Harry, Halder and Rachael had been together at excavations in Egypt with their families prior to the war. They had been close friends and terminated with both Harry and Johann falling in love with Rachael but never being able to tell her in order to get her reaction to whether or not she was in love with one or the other.
The story revolves around the chase between Harry and his two friends, and if as part of war any of them would be able to actually kill their former friends or object of love. Mr Meade handles the sequences of the chase and reactions of both sides to knowledge that they were facing former great friends and what they would do if they actually met. There was an attempt by the Nazis to kill Roosevelt at the Cairo conference in real life which obviously did not succeed. But the major thrust of Meade's story involves love tested by being on opposite sides during a world war. Extremely well done novel with the reader easily being caught up in the emotions and activities of both sides. The ending is not at all telegraphed but does leave the reader with the impression that he or she has just finished one of the most satisfying stories written in a long time.