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Garden of Beasts (2004)

Paul Schumann, a German-American living in New York City in 1936, is a mobster hit man known equally for his brilliant tactics and for taking only “righteous” jobs. But when a hit goes wrong and Schumann is nabbed, he’s offered a stark choice: kill Reinhard Ernst, the man behind Hitler’s rearmament scheme, and walk free forever—or be sent to Sing-Sing and the electric chair.

The instant Paul sets foot in Berlin his mission becomes a deadly cat-and-mouse chase, with danger and betrayal lurking at every turn. For the next forty-eight hours, as the city prepares for the coming summer Olympics, Schumann stalks Ernst, while a dogged criminal police officer and the entire Third Reich security apparatus search frantically for the American. Packed with fascinating period detail and featuring a cast of perfectly realized local characters, Olympic athletes, and senior Nazi officials—some real, some fictional—Garden of Beasts dishes up breathtaking action, a wrenching look at Nazi-era Berlin, and a series of stunning plot twists. It is classic Deaver. (And there is also a slight Lincoln Rhyme connection for the discerning reader to find.)

Garden Of Beasts won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, awarded by the Crime Writers Association Of Great Britain. This dagger award is for the best adventure/thriller novel in the vein of James Bond.

Praise

"This is prime Deaver, which means prime entertainment. "

—Publishers Weekly starred review

"Following Schumann through a multitude of twists, turns, and betrayals is exciting and helps illuminate the early days of the Third Reich. Highly recommended. "

—Library Journal