The One Man by Andrew Gross
Hardcover: 432 Pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (Aug. 23 2016)
Synopsis: Poland. 1944. Alfred Mendl and his family are brought on a crowded train to a Nazi concentration camp after being caught trying to flee Paris with forged papers. His family is torn away from him on arrival, his life’s work burned before his eyes. To the guards, he is just another prisoner, but in fact Mendl―a renowned physicist―holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. And the other is already at work for the Nazi war machine.
Four thousand miles away, in Washington, DC, Intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum routinely decodes messages from occupied Poland. Having escaped the Krakow ghetto as a teenager after the Nazis executed his family, Nathan longs to do more for his new country in the war. But never did he expect the proposal he receives from “Wild” Bill Donovan, head of the OSS: to sneak into the most guarded place on earth, a living hell, on a mission to find and escape with one man, the one man the Allies believe can ensure them victory in the war.
Bursting with compelling characters and tense story lines, this historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely new and compelling.
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I always get nervous writing reviews for books that fall into the “thriller” genre, but this book was too amazing not to review. I am going to tread carefully now to ensure there are no spoilers – so I apologize in advance for anything cryptic. You will just have to go read the book to understand it.
I have read a few historical fiction/thriller books before, but none of them ever caught my attention like The One Man by Andrew Gross. While the book reads slightly like a TV show script, this was something that made me love it ever more.
For starters: the idea was brilliant. There were hundreds of thousands of people trapped in Auschwitz – many that probably tried to escape, with some even being successful – but this story takes the opposite approach of breaking INTO Auschwitz. This uniqueness was something that caught my attention before I even started the book and allowed for Alfred and Nathan’s journey to bring a new view to the historic story of the Holocaust.
While reading, the story was fast-paced and exciting, never leaving me bored or even wanting to put the book down. The characters were compelling and I was routing for them the entire read. This refreshingly new look on a well told story is definitely a book I recommend!
*I received this book for free from Minotaur Books for an honest review*