Garden of Beasts by Jeffery Deaver
A Novel of Berlin 1936

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In the most ingenious and provocative thriller yet from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, a conscience-plagued mobster turned government hitman struggles to find his moral compass amid rampant treachery and betrayal in 1936 Berlin.
Paul Schumann, a German American living in New York City in 1936, is a mobster hitman known as much for his brilliant tactics as for taking only "righteous" assignments. But then Paul gets caught. And the arresting officer offers him a stark choice: prison or covert government service. Paul is asked to pose as a journalist covering the summer Olympics taking place in Berlin. He's to hunt down and kill Reinhard Ernst -- the ruthless architect of Hitler's clandestine rearmament. If successful, Paul will be pardoned and given the financial means to go legit; if he refuses the job, his fate will be Sing Sing and the electric chair.
Paul travels to Germany, takes a room in a boardinghouse near the Tiergarten -- the huge park in central Berlin but also, literally, the "Garden of Beasts" -- and begins his hunt. In classic Deaver fashion, the next forty-eight hours are a feverish cat-and-mouse chase, as Paul stalks Ernst through Berlin while a dogged Berlin police officer and the entire Third Reich apparatus search frantically for the American.
Garden of Beasts is packed with fascinating period detail and features a cast of perfectly realized locals, Olympic athletes and senior Nazi officials -- some real, some fictional. With hairpin plot twists, the reigning "master of ticking-bomb suspense" (People) plumbs the nerve-jangling paranoia of prewar Berlin and steers the story to a breathtaking and wholly unpredictable ending.

About Jeffery Deaver

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Jeffery Deaver, a former attorney, is the New York Times bestselling author of two collections of short stories and dozens of previous suspense novels. He is best known for his Kathryn Dance and Lincoln Rhyme thrillers, most notably The Bone Collector, which was made into a feature starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. His many awards include the Novel of the Year at the International Thriller Writers’ Awards in 2009 for his standalone novel The Bodies Left Behind. The latest entries in the Lincoln Rhyme series are The Cold Moon, The Broken Window, and The Burning Wire. Visit the author on Facebook or go to
Published July 20, 2004 by Simon & Schuster. 576 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Horror, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Garden of Beasts

Kirkus Reviews

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As his mission spirals out of control and he hears Hitler’s tirelessly efficient police closing in on him, Paul finds himself leaning more and more on people like Käthe Richter, his landlady, and Otto Webber, a raffish black marketeer, and wondering whether Deaver’s well-earned reputation for bof...

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Publishers Weekly

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Deaver weaves the three manhunts—Paul after his target, Kohl after Paul and the Nazi hierarchy after Paul—with a deft hand, bringing to frightening life the Berlin of 1936, a city on the brink of madness.

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Book Reporter

While Deaver will undoubtedly return to Rhyme and Sachs in the near future, GARDEN OF BEASTS serves to reinforce the proposition that Deaver's talents and abilities run too broadly and deeply to be limited to any one set of characters.

Jul 20 2004 | Read Full Review of Garden of Beasts: A Novel of ...

Entertainment Weekly

Originally posted Jul 23, 2004 Published in issue #775 Jul 23, 2004 Order article reprints

Jul 23 2004 | Read Full Review of Garden of Beasts: A Novel of ...

Reviewing the Evidence

The hat turns out to be a stetson and Kohl and Janssen start tracking Schumann, who by now, has taken a room in a boarding house near the Tiergarten (Garden of Beasts) There are enough twists and turns to give the most die-hard thriller fan a frisson down his spine, and the feeling in 1936 German...

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Gather Books

We see the main character grow form a heartless assassin into a man who really is deeper and more considerate than we are originally led to believe, Paul Schumann surprises himself at times.

Jan 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Garden of Beasts: A Novel of ...

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