The Cairo Code
By Glenn Meade
Published by Howard Books
578 pages

Back Cover: The international bestseller takes you on a fast-paced, nail-biting thrill ride from the Great Pyramids in Cairo, to behind the Nazi lines in Berlin, to the very seat of democracy as our hero tries to unravel a plot that could kill FDR and Winston Churchill.

To save the Western Allies, he must kill the woman he loves…

November 1943: Adolf Hitler sanctioned his most audacious mission ever—to kill US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill while they visit Cairo for a secret conference to plan the Allied invasion of Europe, an invasion which threatens imminent defeat for Germany.

Only one man is capable of leading the defiant Nazi mission—Major Johann Halder, one of the Abwehr’s most brilliant and daring agents. He is a man with a tortured soul and a talent for the impossible. Accompanied by an expert undercover team and Rachael Stern, the young and beautiful Egyptologist, Halder must race against time across a hostile desert to reach Cairo and successfully complete the assignment, or else forfeit his life and the life of his son.

When US military intelligence hears about the plan, they assign Lieutenant-Colonel Harry Weaver, one of their best officers, to hunt down and eliminate Halder and his team. But for Weaver, as well as for Halder and Stern, there’s more than the balance of war and the lives of the Allied leaders at stake—a pact of love and friendship will be tested in the frantic, high-stakes chase to the death.

Based on a real attempt to kill the President, The Cairo Code is a breathless, suspenseful thriller—a heart-wrenching tale of friendship, love, and treachery set against the exotic and intriguing backdrop of wartime Egypt.

REVIEW: For those of you who have read my book reviews you know that I mainly review Christian Fiction novels. This story doesn’t have a spiritual thread but is just a fun nail biting adventure. It reminded me of the first Indiana Jones movie but on steroids. I was hooked from the start and that’s saying something since I get overwhelmed by the site of such a thick novel. This book has 578 pages that were broken into five sections. It didn’t seem like a long read at all with so much history, suspense, and drama happening all around the back drop of WWII. My eyes were glued to each page.

There was a romance thread running throughout the story like the first Indiana Jones movie but in this novel two close friends are in love with the same woman. The author does a great job of having the reader instantly care about the three main characters. It starts out back to when the three met working on an archeological dig in Cairo Egypt. Rachel Stern’s dad is running the site. Jack Halder flew in from Germany and Harry Weaver from America to work on the dig. Surprise to all both men fell in love with the country and Rachel Stern. Rachel liked them both. They all had a photo showing “three young smiling people, their arms around one another, standing in the desert sands at Sakkar. Each claiming that the summer of 1939 was the happiest of their lives.” Little did they realize how true that was.

I just want to say here that there were a few romance scenes that were mainly left up to your imagination and they were chased through a brothel but nothing is described in detail. There were 4 or 5 times (throughout the 578 pages) the author used the word Damn; we are talking war here - it was used in context to the situation. Along with smoking cigarettes and drinking; all signs of the times.

Life changed for everyone when WWII began; everyone was affected including these three friends. Each went their separate ways after 1939. None of them would have guessed they’d ever meet up again. War has a funny way of creating impossible situations.

The mission that took place in this novel was embellished through the authors’ imagination. The author says, “The Cairo code is a work of fiction tempered with a measure of truth…that the Nazis intended to assassinate President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill during a series of important allied conferences that took place in the Middle East in late 1943 is a historical fact.”

This was news to me. I’m not a history buff but this fascinated me. I had known many attempts were made to wipe out Hitler but I had no idea about the attempts on Roosevelt and Churchill.

This was a terrific gripping story masterfully written; a thrilling read I couldn’t put down.
It’s a heart-wrenching tale of friendship, love and treachery. Set against the exotic and intriguing back drop of wartime Egypt. .

This is a new author to me. Glen Meade was born in Dublin, in 1957. He worked in the field as a pilot training for air Lingus for many years and as a journalist for the Irish times. I’m so glad the authors’ book was recently translated into English so more people can enjoy his work.

This would make a great book club pick, there is so much to discuss. It’s rich in characterization and plot as they maneuvered the crazy, horrifying situations of WWII. 

ABOUT AUTHOR: Glenn Meade was born into a working-class family in Dublin, Ireland. After finishing secondary school he had a tough time choosing between studying theology or engineering, but eventually engineering won out and he studied telecommunications. Soon after graduating, he lived and worked in New Hampshire. He worked as a specialist in the field of pilot training—having had a life-long interest in aviation—and has also been a journalist for the Irish Times and the Independent.

While living in New Hampshire, he persistently tried to interview the famously reclusive author of CATCHER IN THE RYE, J.D. Salinger, an effort that only served to vex Salinger, who set his dogs on Meade, who luckily managed to outrun Salinger’s hounds and survive.

His novels to date— Snow Wolf, Brandenburg, The Sands of Sakkara, Resurrection Day, We of Deceit, The Devil's Disciple, The Second Messiah —have been translated into twenty-six languages, and have enjoyed critical and commercial success.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Howard Books publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
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