The Last of the Seven – Steven Hartov – HTP Books Summer 2022 Historical Fiction Blog Tour

Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on the Harlequin Trade Publishing Summer 2022 Historical Fiction Blog Tour for The Last of the Seven by Steven Hartov! Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing and the author for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour.

Title: The Last of the Seven
: Steven Hartov
Genre: Historical Fiction
: August 9th, 2022 (Hanover Square Press)

Synopsis: A lone soldier wearing a German uniform stumbles into a British military camp in the North African desert with an incredible story to tell. He is the only survivor of an undercover operation meant to infiltrate a Nazi base, trading on the soldiers’ perfect fluency in German. However, this man is not British-born but instead a German Jew seeking revenge for the deaths of his family back home in Berlin.

As the Allies advance into Europe, the young lieutenant is brought to recover in Sicily. There he is recruited by a British major to join the newly formed X Troop, a commando unit composed of German and Austrian Jews training for a top secret mission at a nearby camp in the Sicilian hills. They are all “lost boys,” driven not by patriotism but by vengeance.

Drawing on meticulous research into this unique group of soldiers, The Last of the Seven is a lyrical, propulsive historical novel perfect for readers of Mark Sullivan, Robert Harris and Alan Furst.

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing, Harper Collins Canada and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A man in German uniform stumbles into a British military camp in North Africa after travelling through the desert, claiming to be a British soldier who has escaped from Nazi captivity. Lieutenant Bernard Froelich, a German Jew, is the last survivor of a covert operation to infiltrate a Nazi base. Brought to Sicily to recover from his terrible injuries, Froelich’s journey is not quite done. A British major recruits him to join the new X Troop, a group of commandos who are all German or Austrian Jews, for a secret mission that will rely on their fluency and ability to pass as Germans, this dangerous task is an opportunity for many of them to gain vengeance.

With each WWII novel I read, I learn something new about the era, and this one was no exception. The X Troop was not something I’d heard about before and I found this to be a fascinating read: a group of German Jews who fought against the Nazis by using their ability to speak and act exactly like the Germans against them. The writing was excellent and I loved the descriptive narration which made me feel like I was really there watching those events. It also conveys to the reader just how difficult it would have been to be a part of the commando troops and undergo the harsh training required for so challenging a task.

There were several flashbacks to Froelich’s time in Berlin and the persecution of Jews that he saw and experienced, which made a great addition to the story, but I felt that the transition between past and present each time one of these came up was rather disjointed, and they also came up randomly which made it harder to follow.

The one thing I didn’t enjoy about this book was the choppy pacing and how late the actual plot started. The first part of the book was interesting as it detailed Froelich’s capture and escape from the Nazis, but then the focus shifts to his time recuperating on board the hospital ship and eventually in Sicily, and the story really began to drag here. There was far too much time spent on this and I didn’t particularly care for the romance and skimmed through a lot of these chapters until the action began again. When the mission begins, it’s pretty much in the last 20% or so of the book and I felt like it wasn’t given enough page time.

Overall, this was a nice read but probably not one I would reread as personally, I found it quite frustrating by the end. However, I would definitely recommend this to fans of WWII novels and historical fiction fans in general!

The Codebreaker’s Secret releases August 9th, 2022.

About the Author

Steven Hartov is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller In the Company of Heroes, as well as The Night Stalkers and Afghanistan on the Bounce. For six years he served as Editor-in-Chief of Special Operations Report.

He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX, and most recently the History Channel’s Secret Armies. A former Merchant Marine sailor, Israeli Defense Forces paratrooper and special operator, he is currently a Task Force Commander in the New York Guard. He lives in New Jersey.

Social Media Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Buy this book at:
Amazon | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Books A | Google Play | Harlequin | IndieBound | Indigo | Kobo | Libro FM

Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “The Last of the Seven – Steven Hartov – HTP Books Summer 2022 Historical Fiction Blog Tour

  1. Sunshine with Savannah August 12, 2022 / 7:59 pm

    Great post and review! Though it’s not typically the genre I gravitate toward naturally, there have been a few historical fiction books that I’ve really loved, so I’ll have to to see if this is up my alley as well. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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