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Summary

Berlin, 1933. Aspiring actress Clara Vine arrives in Berlin to find work at the famous Ufa studios. Through a chance meeting, she is unwillingly drawn into a circle of Nazi wives, led by Magda Goebbels. British Intelligence officer Leo Quinn sees Clara as the perfect recruit to spy on her new elite friends. But then Magda reveals to Clara a dramatic secret and entrusts her with an extraordinary mission.

©2013 Thynker Ltd (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"The crosscurrents and dangers of the build-up to war are established with expertise and not a little menace. Terrific." ( Elizabeth Buchan for Sunday Times)
"Thynne's thriller is strong on the city’s paranoia, and its exploration of the Third Reich’s bizarre attitude to women gives it an original take on Nazi Germany" ( Mail on Sunday)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not a bad listen but lacking atmosphere

I don't consider this book a waste of a credit and listened till the end. To some degree it held my attention however it was a rather passionless and insipid story. Considering the time in history this story is set and the real life political figures within the third reich that are mentioned within the text there is little trepidation, anxiety or atmosphere and indeed what the story does muster is in my opinion, largely created from the fact the listener is aware of the monstrous acts perpetrated and sanctioned by of the likes of Goebbles rather than any brilliance within the writing.
I found it hard to care very much about the main character which perhaps didn't help. I am aware that the story progressed in to a series and would be tempted to listen to another to see if things livened up as the plot is an interesting idea however I wouldn't waste a credit on a book that is much the same as this one which was rather bland. On times it felt like a historical name dropping exercise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • RK
  • 05-02-15

Mixed Bouquet

Would you listen to Black Roses again? Why?

No. I really enjoyed the story but several careless mispronunciations and breaks at the wrong points of sentences made it frustrating. Although I want to read more Clara Vine adventures I'll be getting text copies rather than audio for this reason.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes the pace was fine it was just the errors mentioned earlier that were irksome. One good thing was that the narrator didn't attempt comedy German accents but just gave people different voices (not always different enough for me though).

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

One of the pleasures of this book was that it took several topics and themes with the potential for melodrama and presented them in an interesting but not emotionally manipulative way. Reflecting how Magda Goebbels is presented perhaps - a very odd, eventful life but a veneer of cold glamour.

Any additional comments?

I loved the passages about cinema; details of the studios, mentions of German stars and directors of the time and would have liked more of these kinds of things.
Basically cinema, spies and inter-war Europe are my favourite themes so in that way this book was a delight though the character of Clara needed a bit more oomph.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • Enniscorthy, Ireland
  • 08-07-14

A gripping read

What made the experience of listening to Black Roses the most enjoyable?

Authentic, atmospheric and great story line. Wonderfully brave heroine with delicious love scenes.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Clara. A complicated yet open and brave character.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The intimate meetings with Magda Goebbels

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Her love affaire

Any additional comments?

I will be reading this book again in time

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed very much

Well read good story and a history lesson all in one. I will buy the next in the series

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous

This is a favourite of mine and I listen to it about once a year. I love the details scattered through out, most of which are true and bring the characters and 1930s Berlin to life. It’s interesting to see the Nazi elites as real people, with the grumbles of everyday life juxtaposed to the extravagance of their lifestyles and the callousness of their doctrine.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Good Listen

I purchased this book after I listened to book 6 in the series (which also is a good listen). The characters are believable and leave you (well me any way) wanting to know more about this time in our history. I would recommend this series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda
  • Ringwood, United Kingdom
  • 09-08-14

Fascinating

This is an interesting and sometimes compelling book about a period of history I knew little about. However, it has a very unsatisfactory ending and this is why I did not rate it totally five stars