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The Phoenix

By Henning Boetius, Translated by John Cullen

For all those who love novels like Fatherland by Robert Harris, The Phoenix – a brilliant thriller based on the inside story of the airship disaster – is a great find.

Airships were the Concordes of their era – elegant, exciting, luxurious – and the Hindenburg was Germany’s pride. When it mysteriously exploded on arrival in the US in 1936 Goering pronounced the disaster an ‘accident’. However, whispers soon circulated that it was sabotage. But by whom and why? And why were 28 of the survivors declared dead by the Nazi authorities?

Birger Lund is one of them. Horrifically burnt in the flames, he is unrecognisable even to himself, but like the phoenix from the ashes, he arises from the dead with a new face and a new identity. However he realises he cannot embrace his future without confronting his past. So, briefly reunited with the girl he fell in love with ten years before on the Hindenburg’s last voyage, he treks across post-war Germany in search of the truth about the crash. His journey leads him to a remote island off the north coast of Germany – to the home of the last pilot on the Hindenburg. However, the islanders appear to have not accepted the end of the war, and are determined to protect – with violence, if necessary – any secrets the pilot may have…

The author is himself the son of one of the officers on the Hindenburg.

Format: Paperback (A Format)
Release Date: 17 Jun 2011
Pages: 416
ISBN: 978-0-00-710952-4
Price: £11.99 (Export Price) , £11.99, €13.91
Henning Boetius lives near Frankfurt and is the author of several highly aclaimed novels and a series of literary mysteries. He is the son of the only living survivor of the Hindenburg. Taking him five years to write, The Phoenix is inspired by the accounts his father shared with him of the disaster.

”'Impeccably researched, its intensity reminiscent of Ondaatje’s The English Patient.” - Der Spiegel

”'A superlative thirller, a fine book which I put down with a real sense of regret.” - David Robson, Sunday Telegraph

”'Boetius has created an original plot peopled with intensely realized characters, set against a vivid backdrop of prewar politics and the romance of zeppelin flight.” - Publishers Weekly

”'Henning Boetius has fashioned a superb and unsettling thriller.” - Sunday Telegraph