Review of Ratlines by Stuart Neville

Ratlines Stuart NevilleRatlines

Stuart Neville

January 1, 2013


Albert Ryan is a member of the Irish Intelligence Service, the G2. The Director, Ciaran Fitzpatrick, and Lieutenant Ryan have a morning meeting with Charles J. Haughey, the Minister of Justice. Three men have been murdered. All of these men were former Nazis that were given asylum in Ireland. Haughey wants to have these killing investigated quietly. President John F. Kennedy is going to be visiting Ireland in a few weeks and if the media gets wind of the case, he may decide that the visit should be postponed.

Mr Neville does a very good job of portraying Ireland in the early 60s. It all feels very real. Ryan is a complicated character. He joined the British Army during World War 2, known in Ireland as the Emergency. The IRA supporters berate him for that. He is a Protestant in a Catholic country. He lives in a dormitory. He is not a well liked person. The other characters in the book are also well-developed.

There are enough twists and detours in the plot to keep you interested. You are never quite sure what is going to happen next.

This is an easy book to read and a hard book to put down. It has a more 60s feel, instead of being a fast paced thriller of today. You will want to find out what is going to happen next, but it can’t be hurried. There are no shortcuts to finding the answers, no cell phones, DNA, fingerprint banks, or computers.

I liked this book and give it 5 stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.


Book Description

Release Date: January 1, 2013

Ireland 1963. As the Irish people prepare to welcome President John F. Kennedy to the land of his ancestors, a German national is murdered in a seaside guesthouse. Lieutenant Albert Ryan, Directorate of Intelligence, is ordered to investigate. The German is the third foreigner to die within a few days, and Minister for Justice Charles Haughey wants the killing to end lest a shameful secret be exposed: the dead men were all Nazis granted asylum by the Irish government in the years following World War II.

A note from the killers is found on the dead German’s corpse, addressed to Colonel Otto Skorzeny, Hitler’s favorite commando, once called the most dangerous man in Europe. The note simply says: “We are coming for you.”

As Albert Ryan digs deeper into the case he discovers a network of former Nazis and collaborators, all presided over by Skorzeny from his country estate outside Dublin. When Ryan closes in on the killers, his loyalty is torn between country and conscience. Why must he protect the very people he fought against twenty years before? Ryan learns that Skorzeny might be a dangerous ally, but he is a deadly enemy.

Product Details

Hardcover: 354 pages

Publisher: Soho Crime (January 1, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616952040

ISBN-13: 978-1616952044

Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

About the Author

Stuart Neville has been a musician, a composer, a teacher, a salesman, a film extra, a baker and a hand double for a well-known Irish comedian. His first novel, The Ghosts of Belfast, was one of the most critically acclaimed crime debuts of recent years, and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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