Following his defeat at Stalingrad, Adolf Hitler goes all-in to obtain a weapon capable of turning the war around and back in his favor. To create such a powerful weapon, Hitler needs the deuterium oxide, or “heavy water,” that is secretly being produced in the Norsk Hydro plant located in southern Norway. Without it, the atomic bomb cannot be assembled.
Kurt Nordstrum belongs to a group of Norwegian resistance soldiers whose mission is to take back Norway, overthrowing dictator Vidkun Quisling in the process. British Intelligence has plenty of intel on the Norsk Hydro plant, which is nearly impossible to get to — and even if one could find a way there, it’s heavily guarded by well-armed commandos.
After learning just how impenetrable the factory is, Nordstrum and his men are tasked with infiltrating the plant and destroying the heavy water supply and all the equipment and machinery used to produce it. For Nordstrum, the true significance of the mission’s danger is hammered home when he learns that his crew isn’t the first to attempt such a daring job. The last unit, though, were all killed.
Nordstrum and his guys are the last hope to take down the Hydro plant. From planning their operation and their insertion point to navigating the harsh weather and setting up their assault, Gross keeps his foot on the gas pedal throughout. The characters, especially Nordstrum — who learned early on as a child to persevere and push through tough circumstances — really come to life. Best of all, it’s hard to tell where the facts end and fiction begins, so have your laptop and the all-mighty power of Google ready at your disposal, then sit back and enjoy the ride.
Last year, Andrew Gross made headlines for turning over a new page in his career and switching genres. After blasting his way into the historical fiction scene with The One Man — a near-perfect thriller that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer like your team is fourth-and-goal on the one-yard line, down by six in the Super Bow l– Gross proves to be more than a one-hit wonder in his new genre.
While the account of the saboteur’s mission is real, making the ending known to many readers long before they pick the book up, Gross masterfully develops his characters –providing numerous reasons for readers to hang around for four hundred pages. He also brings the setting to life, plunging readers into the snow-covered Norwegian mountains where the frigid setting meets an equally chilling plot.
After two unputdownable World War II thrillers featuring unlikely heroes, each with plots involving atomic bombs and daring missions from brave men who rise to the occasion when needed, Gross firmly asserts himself as one of the most talented historical fiction writers in the game today.
The Saboteur, which reads like Mission: Impossible set in 1943, is another brilliant, action-packed, emotionally-charged thriller from Andrew Gross. Buy it and move it straight to the top of your reading list!
Author: Andrew Gross
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: August 22, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10