Wars generate myriad stories about heroism, resistance groups and intrigue. Some tales endure time, while others fade because other wars, other sagas take their place.
In “The Saboteur,” Andrew Gross returns to WWII for a thrilling take about members of the Norwegian resistance who undertake a near impossible mission to stop a Nazi plan to build an atomic bomb. To do this, they have to sabotage the heavy water production at a remote Norwegian factory.
Gross, who started his writing career as one of James Patterson’s co-authors before switching to his own high-concept thrillers, has found a niche in historical fiction set in WWII. Gross showed his affinity for his era in his gripping 2016 novel “The One Man,” set during the Holocaust, and keeps those high standards in “The Saboteur.”
Based on a true incident, Gross weaves fact into fiction, keeping the suspense high and the twists based on reality. Gross makes us forget we already know the outcome of WWII by adding an anything-could-happen to his plot.
“The Saboteur” is Kurt Nordstrum. He and his small band of resistance fighters aim to liberate Norway from the Nazis and the country’s dictator, Vidkun Quisling.
Gross showcases the team’s bravery without embellishing the facts.
“The Saboteur” relies on the team’s insight, physical skills such as world-class skiing and intelligence. Gross also shows the emotional toll on these soldiers.
This Norwegian team’s adventures were the basis of the 1965 “The Heroes of Telemark,” starring Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris.
In many ways, Gross’ “The Saboteur” delivers an even more edge-of-the-seat thriller.