The One Man by Andrew Gross


Book Blurb:

Release Date: August 23, 2016

Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.

Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

The One Man, a 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 compelling.

My Review:

Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller

The focus of this story is a man who escaped from Poland prior to World War 2.  Nathan Blum is convinced by the US government  to return to his homeland to rescue a man out of Auschwitz.  The objective is Alfred Mendl, a physicist whose knowledge is crucial for the Manhattan Project.

This story moves quickly while Alfred is placed into Auschwitz and as Nathan breaks into the camp. This book centers mainly on the attempt to rescue Alfred and it’s a quick suspenseful read.

The premise of this book is based loosely on the author’s 95-year-old father-in-law who left Warsaw in early 1939, months before the war.  He was the only one in his family to survive the war.  Before reading this book, he never spoke a word about his family life in Poland.