Top critical review
4* was tempting but the style is too laddish and there are credibility issues
Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2019
The prospect of the Germans developing an atomic bomb during WW2 was a low probability, but massively high impact risk for the Allies. This book is basically a large-scale compendium of anecdotes about (i) how the German project progressed and (ii) even more importantly, the Allied mission to investigate how far the Germans had progressed, and to prevent any further progress.
The author clearly knows his stuff, but tries too hard to make this into a popular account. First, the writing style is too laddish.
Second, and more importantly, there are some credibility issues. I (and I assume the author as well) have read widely around this topic. Much of the material was familiar to me. However, that which was not familiar raised some suspicions. What are the sources of the author's anecdotes? The referencing is simply inadequate for an authoritative book, although it might pass muster as something one would read on a long flight.
Other commentators have identified a few falsehoods or errors - for example, Berg did not parachute into Norway to investigate the heavy-water issue. One sometimes suspects that the author is willing to adapt the facts to fit a good story.
I am really torn between 3* and 4*. On the 4* side, the author does a good job in explaining much of the science. On the 3* side, I dislike the author's laddish style and, whilst I buy into the big picture that the author describes, I have some credibility issues.