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V2

Narrated by: David Rintoul
Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Victory is close. Vengeance is closer.

On the brink of defeat, Hitler commissioned 10,000 V2s - ballistic rockets that carried a one-ton warhead at three times the speed of sound, which he believed would win the war.

Dr Rudi Graf who, along with his friend Werner von Braun, had once dreamt of sending a rocket to the moon, now finds himself in November 1944 in a bleak seaside town in Occupied Holland, launching V2s against London. No one understands the volatile, deadly machine better than Graf, but his disillusionment with the war leads to him being investigated for sabotage. 

Kay Caton-Walsh, an officer in the WAAF, has experienced first-hand the horror of a V2 strike. When 160 Londoners, mostly women and children, are killed by a single missile, the government decides to send a team of WAAFs to newly-liberated Belgium in the hope of discovering the location of the launch sites. But not all the Germans have left, and Kay finds herself in mortal danger. 

As the war reaches its desperate end, their twin stories play out, interlocked and separate, until their destinies are finally forced together.

©2020 Robert Harris (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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What could have been

What is there is well written and performed but the ending seems to have been rushed with a jump in time missing out what could well have been the best part of the story keeping out of the hands of the SS and the Russians and getting to the Americans. A great shame.

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I loved the combination of fact and fiction.

V2 is the first Robert Harris book that I have listened to or have read. It was an interview with the author on this work that captured my imagination and led to the purchase. That he wrote this book in the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020 is a feat in itself though I have to wonder if Harris had been researching the subject matter before this. I was delighted with the choice narrator; he approached the differing characters, genders and accents in a way that none felt out of place or too strained. I will certainly look for other books that he has narrated and hope that the earlier releases of Robert Harris' works on Audible are among that list. There as been a significant amount of research into the V2 rocket and both the German army's actions in the areas mentioned and the implications of the rocket program on the local populations and the slave labour workforce. With the distance of, time it could have more comfortable, but not correct to avoid this area of history. The RAF personnel involved in the hunting of the V2 launch sites using only slide rules, mathematical tables and under a very tight time constraint illustrates the task the actual WRAF members had to complete. With many things, war brings forward the investment and understanding of items initially designed for a peaceful reason; in this case, dreams of space travel morphed into weapon of war, then gained many of the scientists a ticket to the USA and NASA by sharing that gained knowledge. I look forward to now working my way through Robert Harris' other books.

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Good story. well read.

Good story. well read. I enjoyed the book, Author is very good at war time pieces like this. Read Enigma if you have not, that's brilliant, by same author..

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Superb Robert Harris

Robert Harris a master story teller combining fact and fiction, this story will keep the listener spell bound,the narration by David Rintoul provides a unique synergy between Harris and Rintoul bringing to life a fictional story that provides a great story leaving the Listener satisfied, but wanting more, I loved every minute of it, superb.