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Prince of Spies

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Member Reviews

A great beginning to what promises to be an exciting new series.

“Prince of Spies” by Alex Gerlis introduces us to Richard Prince, a young detective in England during 1942 who helps capture a German spy therefore gets pulled into accepting an assignment from MI6 in Denmark (his mom was Danish), leaving behind his young son.

And off the story goes: meeting secret agents, other spies, avoiding the Nazis (rather unsuccessfully at times), making contact with the salesman who has information about Germany’s V1 and V2 rocket programs, which if true could change the tide of the war. Mr. Gerlis does a great job capturing the dynamics of what takes place in the safe halls of London versus the assets out in the field – once Prince gets the information, his superiors want him to go to Berlin. Once he brings back that information (barely escaping the SS), they want him to infiltrate the labor camp that’s actually working on the rocket site. The people sitting safely in their offices are always pushing for more and more, the agents in the field have no choice but to accept riskier and riskier assignments, with the predictable consequences. In the end not all of the threads are wrapped up, setting the stage for the next book in the series. Which I cannot wait to read.

An exciting adventure story, set at an exciting time. Mr. Gerlis does a great job in building the characters, setting the scenes, moving back and forth from London to the field. The action moves from England to Denmark to Germany to Sweden seamlessly, it is obvious that Mr. Gerlis did his research about the different situations countries found themselves in. The stories behind the people that interact with Prince show that decisions are made and actions taken for a variety of reasons, it’s not always black and white.

I requested and received a free advanced electronic copy from Canelo via NetGalley. Thank you!
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I don't read many historical spy novels. I mostly enjoy the spy genre when it is speculative when you have no clue how the world events described will play out, taking away the element of predictability. When a novel is firmly planted in history—although I love history, I find it restricts the tension and decreases my pleasure in turning the page. If you already know how historical events played out and the writer doesn't move away from them, it feels a bit like watching the movie after reading the book.
The background of Prince of Spies by Alex Gerlis involves the secret development of the V1 and V2 rockets by the Nazi at Peenemünde, near the Baltic sea, and the bombing of the bases when the allied forces discovered their location. Against this background, Gerlis inserts Richard Prince, an excellent policeman, who is recruited by British intelligence to travel to Denmark, where a Nazi occupation-light is going on. Prince has to act like a Danish citizen, and slowly make his way up till he can get information from a German engineer on the rocket development.
Prince is a reluctant hero, and even if he certainly has the smarts, and the quick-thinking necessary to be a spy, he's is a bit bland. Reading this, I imagined very much as Prestige BBC tv, a production with a myriad of exciting side characters for actors to sink their teeth in, and a vast assortment of locations. We move from London, Danmark, to Berlin, to a work camp, to Sweden. And I can imagine how gorgeous it will all look, in those rich dark browns, and black BBC tones.
Even if I may sound critical, I did enjoy this, but more as a novel than a thriller, it's an adventure novel, but don't expect the scheming, or suspense often associated with the genre. The book is the introduction to the Richard Prince saga; the ending gives way to a conflict that has certainly piqued my interest. It will tear Prince apart and give him the inner turmoil that will undoubtedly benefit the tension of the story.
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I throughly enjoyed reading Prince of Spies by Alex Gerlis. His main character Pince was an excellent police officer in England. His wife and daughter died in a car crash several years ago and he is a single parent  with a three year old son. HIs superiors feel he would make anexcellent spy and want to send himto Denmank and Germany. He is reluctant at first but gives in under pressure.It is very hard for himto leave his son but feels the boy will be safe with his sister. Oversees he has many adventures and is eventually captured and imprisioned by the Germans. He escapes and manages to returnto England. This part of thebooks is very interesting.
I felt the ending was terrible. When hereturns home and asks to see hisson,the authorites tell him that his sonwas placed in a orfanage after his sister died. The boy wasquickly adopted and they cant find him! That the end of the book! I kept looking for more pages and still feel that I was not able to download the complete book.
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Nothing like an exciting spy thriller set in the historical past...with the names and places changed to protect the innocent! I enjoyed this book as the plot and locations were historically believable. And, the ending left me hanging for the next installment with Agent Richard Prince.
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My thanks to the Author publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a Kindle version of this book to read and honestly review.
Entertaining from first to last page, well researched a proper stiff upper lip wartime spy story, with quality characters throughout. Our hero a police detective recovering from a recent tragedy who plays a major part in breaking a German spy ring, suddenly find himself recruited as a spy himself, and due to Danish roots quickly whisked to occupied Denmark. Authentic dramatic tense this is a gripping intriguing story with a real feel for time and place, and if I am any judge the ending suggests more to come. Which I will look out for.
Recommended
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A terrific spy yarn set mainly in Germany and Denmark in 1942. The main character is Richard Prince, a young police detective, who has just tracked down a German spy in Lincolnshire. For his efforts he was 'rewarded' with a chance to become a spy and his first adventure involved various meetings with the Gestapo and trying to evade them by using the Resistance at the time.

He was eventually earmarked to confirm the site and establishing the German V1 and V2 rockets on a remote part of Denmark.

This book also contains a love interest, and British political views on the effectiveness of these rockets. I will say no more.

Luckily for me it seems as though there are more Richard Prince books to come? Hurrah!!

Thanks to Net Galley and Canelo for the chance to read and review.
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Richard Prince is an unlikely spy much less hero at the start of this well researched novel of WWII.  Fans of the genre should know that this one is a bit different-first and foremost because it is set in occupied Denmark.  You, like me, might learn something as a result.  The early parts might take a little patience but the payoff is worth it as Prince travels into Denmark and then, with the help of a contact (decide for yourself how you feel about him), into Germany to get information on the German rocket program.  Hovering over all is the specter of a traitor within the British services.  The characters are good and the tension ratchets up as you read.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  A great start to a new series.
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This is an enjoyable and easy read, based loosely on real historical events, with action principally in the UK, occupied Denmark, Peenemunde and Berlin. The characters are sympathetically drawn and the action is well described, with a satisfying rhythm and well maintained momentum as British Intelligence tries to establish just how much of a threat is posed by the Nazi V weapons programme. Those with a pedantic mind may wonder why the author chooses to disguise Lord Cherwell, Churchill’s principal scientific adviser, despite putting his well-documented scepticism about the V2 rocket into the mouth of a fictional character.

Readers looking for something along the lines of fictionalised ‘real’ espionage operations may find the events described perhaps a little too straightforward; the remarkable adventures of the lead character, in particular, rather test the extent to which readers can suspend disbelief. However, this reader is happy to report that the stretching of plausibility by the author in the interests of an enjoyable and well-placed narrative was justified. 

The book ends a little abruptly, presumably with the  prospect of Book 2 in this series to look forward to. Readers will have mixed views over this tactic, as opposed to tying up rather more loose ends, whilst still leaving the reader tantalised by the way that the story might develop in future books in the series.

Recommended
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This is quite good. It seems well researched and has a slow start, plus it includes some nice twists that help keep it interesting, particularly toward the end. There are also some nice suspense elements. Kudos to the author for creating a creatively crafted story.

I really appreciate the ARC for review!!
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Well-Researched, Informative And Interesting WWII Spy Thriller!

Prince Of Spies is the first in a WWII spy series by Alex Gerlis featuring Richard Prince, an ex-policeman and now an important spy for England. I won’t describe the plot of this book, as that it is readily available on Goodreads, Amazon, NetGalley, etc. Instead, this review will focus on my opinion of it. 

Overall, Prince Of Spies is a very well-researched, informative and interesting thriller. Be aware that the first 50%-60% of the book is pretty slow-moving and requires a lot of patience on the reader’s part, as it focuses heavily on character development and setting the atmosphere of the places to which Prince is sent to  carry out his mission. Once you get to the second half of Prince Of Spies, I think you’ll find that your patience will be rewarded, as it, for the most part, is attention-holding, gripping and suspenseful.  In many ways, Prince Of Spies reminds me of books I’ve read by Allan Furst, Len Deighton and David Downing...in that exciting things happen without the reader being bombarded with the hero involved in an array of shoot-outs, fist-fights and car chases. While it wasn’t a drawback for me, the fact that Prince of Spies has a “cliffhanger” ending (in that some plot lines were left unresolved) might be a negative factor for some others in deciding if it is a book in which they want to invest their time and money.

Bottom line, I enjoyed Prince Of Spies and plan to go along with Richard Prince in the next book in this series.

#Prince Of Spies #Net Galley
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A fast-paced thriller about a British police detective conscripted by his country's intelligence service during world War Ii and sent into enemy territory to run Danish agents and uncover the German effort to build rockets capable of turning London into a firestorm. Charles Prince is a man still grieving the recent deaths of his wife and daughter, but although his young son needs him. his country needs him more, and his exploits are well told as his character develops into a man readers will root for.. This one would also like to see more of him - fortunately, the last chapter of the book leaves some tantalizing clues about a potential sequel.
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Prince of Spies is the first book by Alex Gerlis that I have read and it is an excellent spy thriller set during World War 2.

The “hero” is identified as a potential spy following his investigation into finding a missing German spy.

The story is set both in Europe and in England and the author has clearly researched his topic as the story flows from one location to another.

This has been an excellent find and a book that is thoroughly recommended
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First of all I have to thank Sophie at Canelo for asking me if I felt like reading this spy story set in World war 2 by Alex Gerlis. I also have to thank Netgalley. I was a little bit sceptical because it has been a long time since I found that period interesting. Since I live in Scandinavia and part of the book is set in Denmark I thought that was intruiging enough and it was a great book not only about the war but also about relationships and parenting. Of course its main story is espionage and it looks like there will be another one about Richard Prince in the making. This book was good enough that I will look into the others by this author.
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An outstanding addition to the spy/espionage genre.

In 1942, deep into WWII, Richard Prince is working as a detective in an English town when he is tapped by MI6 for a mission. His goal is to rendezvous with agents in Denmark and to determine if information received from a salesman about the German V1/V2 rocket programs is legitimate, and if so, gather intelligence about rocket programs. After a nerve-wracking crossing, he lands in Denmark, makes his way to a meeting, and finally lands in an apartment near the heart of Copenhagen. His next step is to meet with another agent - the salesman - and winds up flying to Berlin in order to meet an engineer and a young Luftwaffe officer.

Multiple encounters with the Gestapo, constant worry about the various people in the chain of handling him being moles or double agents, and the fate of those who have assisted him makes for a claustrophobic and stressful world in this book. The tension is very real, and the writing flows so well that I could literally feel my heart pounding during some scenes: will this be the point Prince's cover will be blown? Will this be the moment the Gestapo hauls him away for brutal interrogation? And what of those assisting him, both civilian and otherwise?

I won't go into detail about the second half of the book, as the stakes become even higher, and saying almost anything about it would count as a spoiler - and you should read it yourself to become immersed in the world of the book, which is, relatively speaking, just a very small corner of a very large war, but no less important than any other.

One caveat: the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger note, and not everything is wrapped up by the end of the book. I did not ding the book for this; after all, it's hard to wrap up everything that occurs in a sprawling war in a single book. However, I would recommend that even if you don't like cliffhangers that you still read this.

This is the kind of book for which you will happily forfeit sleeping hours and read into the wee hours. That it is the first in a series bodes well for any reader interested in espionage during WWII.

Highly recommended, and I look forward to further books in this series.

Five out of five stars.

Thanks to NetGalley and Canelo for the advance copy.
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Well told story with interesting changes of direction. Just when you think the story is heading this way the story quickly changes due to something unexpected. I couldn't put it down. A really good read
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A brilliantly crafted World War II espionage thriller sees a British agent try to discover if rumours about Hitler's "Vengeance" weapons - the VI and V2 rockets - are true. Set in 1942 as the war is slowly turning in the Allies' favour, we meet Richard Prince, a young police detective, who has just tracked down a German spy in the East of England. 
           One of Britain's secret service bosses is impressed and asks Prince to travel to to Occupied Europe - assuring him that he'll only be away for a couple of months and that only a handful of people will know the true nature of his mission. He's warned that this is because there seems to be a traitor within the ranks of the Secret Service who has been responsible for the deaths of agents who had been parachuted into Europe.
           After only a few days of training, he crosses the North Sea in a "rust bucket" of a trawler before being transferred to a Danish boat and travelling slowly through Denmark aided by various anonymous members of the Danish Resistance. His final destination is Copenhagen where he manages to contact a Danish businessman whose work takes him into Germany and who claims to have details of the Nazi rocket programme given to him by a Luftwaffe officer! 
          As the plot unfolds, the tension is almost unbearable. 
          The atmosphere of fear and paranoia in Nazi occupied Europe permeates this story as Prince worries what he would do if he is ever arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo. All he can do is hope that the traitor within the ranks of the SIS doesn't know of his untra secret mission and that he won't be denounced by one of his Resistance helpers or the contact who claims to have the information British intelligence wants. Just as things seem to be going smoothly, his mission becomes even more dangerous as he joins his contact on a trip into Nazi Germany. 
        This is a wonderfully detailed blend of historical fact and fiction that will have spy thriller fans chewing their nails as Prince tries to discover the information that is vital to the Allied war effort. The first in a new espionage series featuring Richard Prince puts the author Alex Gerlis up there with the best in this field. I've read all 4 of Gerlis' previous wartime novels and can recommend his work to fans of serious spy fiction. A truly gripping read.

My thanks to the publishers Canelo Action and to NetGalley for a copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.
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Alex Gerlis initiates a planned series of novels revolving around Richard Prince who is by vocation a detective in London.  His activities are picked up in the midst of World War II in 1944.  Prince already has earned a reputation as a hard worker, a very intelligent and savvy detective and one with a bright future in police work.  He has the idea that he would like to do more, increasing his own reputation and earning promotion from the agency he works for.
     The opportunity arises in a big way when Prince masterminds the capture of a Nazi spy that has secretly entered the country and who tells of secret weapons the Nazis are developing which could let them win the war. The center of the activity by Germany seems to be centered in Denmark which is currently occupied by the Nazi army.  The British deem it necessary to get an  agent into Copenhagen to begin investigating the facts about the planned weapon.  Prince is fluent in Danish due to having lived in Denmark at one point in his youth.  He is approached by the British Secret Service and asked if he will take on the mission.  Nervous, but anxious to further develop his skills Richard accepts the assignment and is smuggled into Copenhagen.
     The events depicted take Prince into Denmark, Germany and a neutral Sweden while searching for information on what type of weapon is being developed and than where the manufacturing process is centered.  Along the way he meets a woman assigned to help him in Denmark which leads him into a love affair.  In addition another woman, actually a member of the German upper class, and the wife of a high level German army officer who is helping the British due to her distaste for Hitler's regime has occasion to provide aide to Prince.  She takes a liking to him while at the same time getting rid of her husband because of his views on the current German path which include a disdane and slaughter of Jews. This hatred reflects Hitler's official position and his need to cleanse Germany of Jews and other groups selected for use as scapegoats who are believed to have caused a major recession in the country.
     The portraits of Richard Prince, the two ladies he is involved with, and several people involved in the story's evolution are well done.  They act bravely, are motivated by their cause and feel anxiety and fear as would be normal in a titanic stress situation as is war.  After an interesting read it is no surprise that the ending finds  Prince accepting another assignment and getting ready to reenter war torn Europe again.
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Prince of Spies by Alex Gerlis – 5 Stars
Publisher: Canelo
ISBN: 9781788638722
 
Captivating! I was surprised by the content in this book given it was in the Spies category. I was expecting just action after action with just high intensity events and an already seasoned super-hero agent as in so many other spy books. But instead was given a well-constructed and complete story: how during WW II Richard Prince was recruited, quickly trained for am emanate mission, constant situations that highlighted the high risk and precautionary steps needed, the loneliness and despair in his and other agent’s lives, the addiction to the spy game, the intelligence and secretiveness within the spy organizations internally as well as externally, and so much more. All this with the realistic background and history of WW II, mainly focused in the Germany and Denmark arenas. Did I mention the building and actions to stop the construction of the German missiles and rockets? Or the extreme sacrifices some of the agents encountered? 

Follow the main character Richard Prince from his detective days through his development into a top British Agent and his adventures to uncover the reality of German plans of destruction and menace, particularly the German actions in Denmark. This is a complete story that grips you and places you in Prince’s shoes. Extremely well done! I’m already standing in line for Book 2.

 Reviewer: Rich
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My thanks to NetGalley and publisher Canelo for the ARC.
I so thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The story is a really good read with excellent, flowing writing and dialogue.  It will make a great film.
Richard Prince is in his mid-thirties and already a Detective Superintendent with the Lincolnshire Constabulary.  In September 1942 a 'reluctant' German spy 'Poacher' lands on the Lincolnshire coast and is harboured by the local schoolteacher Lillian Abbot.  The Secret Services are aware of the spy's London contact but, as yet,  Poacher hasn't made his rendezvous and is still at large.  Prince works with the secret service to apprehend Poacher, but so impressed are they by his work, and not least that Prince could speak Danish fluently, and understand German, his Chief Constable reluctantly allows Prince to be seconded to them.  The SOE and secret services are losing agents sent into occupied Denmark - there must be a traitor either in London or Denmark.  Prince has to find out.
Prince's world of spies adventure takes us from London, across the North Sea by trawler, various transport and hand-overs to other agents, to Copenhagen where he becomes embroiled in another mystery concerning the production of V1 and V2 rockets in Peenemunde, Germany.  Just when he thought his assignment was done, he's back in the firing line - almost literally.

The writing conveys an intensity that makes this story so real.  The fear and uncertainty of only ever knowing part of the journey you're undertaking; putting your life constantly in the hands of others and desperately trying not to appear suspicious around the German occupiers.

A tense and atmospheric thriller - although I wasn't too thrilled with the ending in 1943 - perhaps another instalment to come?
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This is the first of a new series of spy thrillers by an author in Alex Gerlis who has written other war books but this series featuring a former policeman turned spy in Richard Prince is going to be a success. 

The plotting is excellent and the author's knowledge of time and place is detailed and forensic. Most of the action take place in occupied Denmark and the action is non-stop and breathless.

The publishers claim that it is perfect for fans of luminaries such as Alan Furst, Philip Kerr and John le Carré. I would like to wait for the next in this series before agreeing with that sentiment but I was also reminded of classics like "The Eagle Has Landed" and Daniel Silva's "The Unlikely Spy."

An excellent read and highly recommended.
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