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The One Man
Cover of The One Man
The One Man
The Riveting and Intense Bestselling WWII Thriller

"As moving as it is gripping. A winner on all fronts."—Booklist (starred review)

"Heart-pounding...This is Gross's best work yet, with his heart and soul imprinted on every page."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Poland. 1944. Alfred Mendl and his family are brought on a crowded train to a Nazi concentration camp after being caught trying to flee Paris with forged papers. His family is torn away from him on arrival, his life's work burned before his eyes. To the guards, he is just another prisoner, but in fact Mendl—a renowned physicist—holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. And the other is already at work for the Nazi war machine.

Four thousand miles away, in Washington, DC, Intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum routinely decodes messages from occupied Poland. Having escaped the Krakow ghetto as a teenager after the Nazis executed his family, Nathan longs to do more for his new country in the war. But never did he expect the proposal he receives from "Wild" Bill Donovan, head of the OSS: to sneak into the most guarded place on earth, a living hell, on a mission to find and escape with one man, the one man the Allies believe can ensure them victory in the war.

Bursting with compelling characters and tense story lines, this 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 new and compelling.

"As moving as it is gripping. A winner on all fronts."—Booklist (starred review)

"Heart-pounding...This is Gross's best work yet, with his heart and soul imprinted on every page."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Poland. 1944. Alfred Mendl and his family are brought on a crowded train to a Nazi concentration camp after being caught trying to flee Paris with forged papers. His family is torn away from him on arrival, his life's work burned before his eyes. To the guards, he is just another prisoner, but in fact Mendl—a renowned physicist—holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. And the other is already at work for the Nazi war machine.

Four thousand miles away, in Washington, DC, Intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum routinely decodes messages from occupied Poland. Having escaped the Krakow ghetto as a teenager after the Nazis executed his family, Nathan longs to do more for his new country in the war. But never did he expect the proposal he receives from "Wild" Bill Donovan, head of the OSS: to sneak into the most guarded place on earth, a living hell, on a mission to find and escape with one man, the one man the Allies believe can ensure them victory in the war.

Bursting with compelling characters and tense story lines, this 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 new and compelling.

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About the Author-
  • ANDREW GROSS is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of nine novels, including No Way Back, Everything to Lose, and most recently, One Mile Under. He is also coauthor of five #1 New York Times bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. His books have been translated into over 25 languages. He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife, Lynn. They have three children.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 30, 2016
    Bestseller Gross (Everything to Lose) revisits the horrors of Auschwitz in this harrowing, thematically rich thriller, which marks a significant departure from his previous contemporary suspense novels. In the spring of 1944, both the Germans and the Allies are pressing toward the transmutation of uranium into atomic weaponry that could win WWII. Gross postulates that the U.S. Manhattan Project, headed by Robert Oppenheimer and joined by renowned refugee physicists like Denmark’s Niels Bohr, lacked one vital component—but the Nazis have incarcerated the world expert in that area, Dr. Alfred Mendl, in Auschwitz. William “Wild Bill” Donovan, the head of the OSS, backs a near-suicidal plan to send a desk-bound Jewish intelligence officer, Nathan Blum, who escaped from Nazi-overrun Poland, into Auschwitz to rescue Mendl. Alternating between scenes of American hope-against-hope optimism and Nazi brutality, Blum’s deadly odyssey into and out of this 20th-century hell drives toward a compelling celebration of the human will to survive, remember, and overcome. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from June 15, 2016
    The author of One Mile Under (2015) changes genres with a heart-pounding thriller set in the bowels of Auschwitz.In Washington, D.C., in early 1944, Capt. Peter Strauss learns that Polish Dr. Alfred Mendl has been sent with his family to Auschwitz and confirms he's still there and possibly still alive. Mendl is an electromagnetic physicist believed to have knowledge key to America's secret efforts to build an atom bomb. Strauss proposes the impossible: have someone sneak in, get Mendl out, and bring him to America. So OSS translator Nathan Blum is carefully trained for "one of the most vital undercover missions of the war." FDR himself commands Blum, Do not fail. Meanwhile, the Nazis don't kill Mendl because his fluent German comes in handy to them. They also don't kill 16-year-old Leo Wolciek, the camp's chess champion, because he's so entertaining to watch. Mendl learns that Leo has an astonishing memory and secretly convinces him to memorize a vast amount of scientific information--Mendl fears he will die and hopes that somehow Leo may get his critical knowledge into Allied hands. It's the thinnest of hopes. (It's unclear how Mendl knows he has precisely what the Allies sorely need, but no matter.) Either man could be clubbed to death by a guard or a kapo at any time. The camp is run by the Lagerkommandant, whose wife is amused to watch Leo play chess. Meanwhile, the stench of human waste and wasted humans pervades the camp. Yet in the midst of all the tension and horror, there are faint flickers of hope--and humanity from a most unexpected source. But the escape will probably fail, and evil will probably exact its toll yet again. So don't bet on the outcome of this one, and do keep your tissues handy. This is Gross' best work yet, with his heart and soul imprinted on every page.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    June 1, 2017

    High-stakes adventure and history combine in this thrilling action novel featuring young U.S. intelligence officer Nathan Blum, who fled Poland after the Nazis executed his family. Blum is asked to complete an impossible mission: infiltrate the Auschwitz concentration camp and rescue Alfred Mendl, a physicist whose research may hold the key to ending the war. Once inside, Blum is on his own, relying on his wits and training to make it out alive. VERDICT World War II is a popular historical setting, and Gross, known for his collaborations with James Patterson, knows how to spin a compelling tale. He'll revisit World War II in this story's follow-up, The Saboteur, set for an August release. (Xpress Reviews, 7/22/16)

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 31, 2016
    Early on in Gross’s riveting WWII thriller, Nathan Blum attends a meeting with OSS spymaster William “Wild Bill” Donovan and his aide, Peter Strauss, in Washington, D.C. Donovan and Strauss hope to convince Blum to undertake a suicide mission: to break into Auschwitz as an inmate, locate Dr. Alfred Mendl, an imprisoned scientist crucial to a project that could win the war, and break him out. Actor Ballerini turns the scene into a fascinating radio drama, with the gruff but charismatic Donovan greeting the bewildered, shy Yiddish-accented Blum with avuncular friendship. Ballerini finds voices for an assortment of Nazis at Auschwitz, displaying varying degrees of snarling sadism. His Mendl is mildly doddering but proud. The physicist’s protégé, Leo, a brilliant chess master gifted with total recall, has several scenes sharing a chess board and a sweetly innocent flirtation with the sympathetic beautiful blonde wife of the sociopathic commandant. These conversational moments, delicately crafted by Gross and splendidly performed by Ballerini, have a profound effect on the novel’s equally well-enacted, action-filled, breathless escape sequence. A Minotaur hardcover.

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The One Man
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The Riveting and Intense Bestselling WWII Thriller
Andrew Gross
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