Official Review: Wish to Die by Robert Walton

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joshfee77
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Official Review: Wish to Die by Robert Walton

Post by joshfee77 »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Wish to Die" by Robert Walton.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Wish To Die by Robert Walton is an archaeological adventure featuring Harry Thursday, an ongoing series character in Walton's books. In January 1945, Germany's Third Reich attempts to warehouse expensive stolen artworks in Wildenhoff Castle as they retreat from the advancing Russians in the last stages of World War II. Ukrainian art expert Tatiana Kul’Zhenko is selected to extract 900 paintings and 450 icons from three Russian museums in Kyiv to ship to Königsberg. As the Nazis retreat, they take what they can, destroying much of what they cannot carry.

To prevent this, the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the British Secret Service place spies within the SS's Kunstschutz, the German Army Art Protection. SS-Hauptsturmführer Theo Möller is one such spy. One prize of particular value to Erich Koch, Oberpräsident of East Prussia and Reichskommissar of Ukraine, is the Russian Amber Room, originally a gift from Prussian Emperor Fredrick William I to Russian Tsar Peter the Great. They dismantle its six thousand tonnes of amber, ship them to Königsberg, and reassemble them. As Germany flees, they break down the Amber Room again, pack it into forty-seven crates, and move it once more. Ultimately, they intend it to reach Weimar, Germany. It never makes it...

Walton's writing is strong, crisp and easy to read. His description creates great atmosphere: "A heavy fog crept eerily through the forest...The smell of diesel exhaust permeated the air...Here and there a crooked lamppost tried to push a dim light through the fog. Creaking iron rails moaned in the night..." Another excellent example is: "An old, crooked pear tree, bearded with dead grapevines that clung to it like webs in a forgotten room, stood nearby." The book is full of great writing like this. There is also some innovative character description: "His blunt nose looked like the backside of a pig sitting in his thick mustache" and: "He remembered Uncle Ted as a desultory man, unable to make a clear point, seemingly distracted, and perhaps unkeeled."

The editing in this book is exceptional. I found only three typographical errors in the entire book: the word "rouge" instead of "rogue", a missing hyphen on "fist-pumped", and a missing quotation mark on page 190. Otherwise, punctuation is spot-on and paragraphs correctly restricted to one character's actions and speech during exchanges of dialogue. The plot is intricate with several twists, and important details are "drip-fed" to the reader nicely throughout the narrative, revealing pieces of the puzzle over time. The dialogue and behaviours feel realistic and true to the characters.

Aside from the three errors, I found only two other minor issues to make suggestions on. Walton puts the thoughts of characters in the same quotation marks as dialogue, which is a little confusing to follow if you assume they are speaking before the attribution afterward clarifies it. It might work better to use italics instead. For example: "'What kind of idiot would do that?' Harry wondered." This could be: "What kind of idiot would do that? Harry wondered." One sentence in the book is also an obvious sentence fragment: "Ricocheting bullets in hot pursuit." It didn't sound right to me, and I think it might be better if worded: "Bullets ricocheted in hot pursuit."

Overall, Wish To Die is an excellent adventure thriller worth 4 out of 4 stars. The plot and characters are strong and the editing is top-notch. The negatives listed above are all extremely minor and easily fixed. I really enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it to fans of archaeological adventure stories, especially those who like tales based on international intrigue rooted in Nazi activities during World War II.

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Post by kandscreeley »

Wow. This one sounds exceptionally well edited. I'm impressed. It seems similar to a recent movie that I've forgotten the name of. It's not really my plot, so I'm going to skip it. Thanks for the review, though.
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Post by daydreaming reader »

The author's still of writing seems very engaging, however the plot doesn't appeal to me very much. Great review though!
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Post by Book Lover 35 »

I like that the story has great character descriptions. I like that there is detail in the surroundings also. Thanks for the review!
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Post by Ice dragon »

Brilliant sounds like a book with a good bite for bookworms!

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Post by Erika Thomas »

This sounds like a great pleasure read! I like the idea of an archaeological thriller, and tying it to one of the most intriguing and mysterious times in recent history sounds delightful. There is still so much unknown about the Nazis in their last attempts to survive, and that leaves a lot of room for books such as this. Thanks for taking the time to read and review! I'll certainly be picking it up soon!

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Post by Kajori50 »

A well edited book is always a great to read. Also, I love the idea of an archaeological adventure.

Thank you for the detailed review.

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Post by joshfee77 »

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
10 Dec 2018, 09:46
Wow. This one sounds exceptionally well edited. I'm impressed. It seems similar to a recent movie that I've forgotten the name of. It's not really my plot, so I'm going to skip it. Thanks for the review, though.
Some great writing, excellent editing and a decent plot. Thanks for your comments!

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Post by joshfee77 »

daydreaming reader wrote: ↑
10 Dec 2018, 17:23
The author's still of writing seems very engaging, however the plot doesn't appeal to me very much. Great review though!
Archaeological stories do have fairly limited appeal, but I quite enjoy them. Thanks!

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Post by joshfee77 »

Book Lover 35 wrote: ↑
10 Dec 2018, 23:48
I like that the story has great character descriptions. I like that there is detail in the surroundings also. Thanks for the review!
Yeah, some very good description of both characters and settings. Thanks!

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Post by joshfee77 »

Ice dragon wrote: ↑
12 Dec 2018, 13:10
Brilliant sounds like a book with a good bite for bookworms!
Certainly some very strong writing, which I always enjoy. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by joshfee77 »

Erika Thomas wrote: ↑
13 Dec 2018, 21:19
This sounds like a great pleasure read! I like the idea of an archaeological thriller, and tying it to one of the most intriguing and mysterious times in recent history sounds delightful. There is still so much unknown about the Nazis in their last attempts to survive, and that leaves a lot of room for books such as this. Thanks for taking the time to read and review! I'll certainly be picking it up soon!
Nazi history is certainly intriguing - horrific of course, but also full of strategy and technological wizardry. Thanks!

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Post by joshfee77 »

Kajori50 wrote: ↑
14 Dec 2018, 10:50
A well edited book is always a great to read. Also, I love the idea of an archaeological adventure.

Thank you for the detailed review.
The combination of great writing, brilliant editing and a strong plot made this book a definite stand-out. Thanks!

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Post by Sakilunamermaid »

I love when mystery books involve other types of investigation, like anthropology, medical examiners, or even computer experts. Its nice to read a book that doesn't feature the usual detective or FBI/ CIA agent. I also am very curious about all of the art that was stolen, destroyed, or lost during the second world war. I tend to not read books that involve war or Nazi but this one I think I can manage.

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