Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Killing Rommel by Steven Pressfield--Book Review

Killing Rommel by Steven Pressfield is a gripping novel sure to please fans of military historical fiction.

It’s 1942 and Richard Chapman is a lieutenant in the British army. German Panzers are enjoying success after success in Africa and threatening to dominate Egypt and the entire Middle East.

The Long Range Desert Group, or LRDG, is a special forces unit that operates behind enemy lines and far from central command. After an earlier denial, “Chap” finds himself temporarily deployed with the LRDG on a technical mission. Through a confluence of events his technical mission morphs into a daring assignment to find and kill the commander of the German Afrika Corps, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel – The Desert Fox.

Pressman’s meticulous portrayal of the sights and sounds of the 1942-43 Africa campaign transports the reader to the front lines. Pressman weaves harrowing desert combat sequences throughout with depictions of the often seemingly endless monotony these warriors also had to endure.

In addition to the technical aspects of military matters so masterfully relayed in this novel, the character development and interaction is also first rate. Particularly effective--and often unexpected--are scenes that illustrate chivalry and honor on the part of the German and Allied forces amid the chaos of warfare.

Killing Rommel is an engrossing read that captures the essence of desert tank warfare. Fans of World War II era historical fiction will not be disappointed.

Title: Killing Rommel
Author: Steven Pressfield
Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 978-0-385-51970-0
U.S. Price: $24.95
Reviewed by: Paul H. Malandrinos

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