The Last Airship : Sam Reilly

  • by Christopher Cartwright
  • Narrated by Michael Stene
  • Series: Sam Reilly
  • 6 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1939 a secret airship departed Nazi Germany in the dark of night filled with some of the most influential people of its time. Its cargo: a complement of rich Jewish families carrying their most valuable possessions. One such item amongst them was as dangerous as it was priceless. The airship never reached its destination. In 2015 Sam Reilly, a marine biologist and wealthy son of shipping mogul James Reilly discovers a missing clue about the lost airship and what follows is a violent treasure hunt, kept secret by the most powerful men in the world today, driven by their greed and need for that which all are motivated: the opportunity for unlimited power.


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Well written and narrated, The Last Airship is a fast moving adventure story of wealth and power, greed and blackmail, betrayal and friendship, courage and frailty, sabotage and family and the sea. In the early days of World War II, a state of the art luxury airship, the Magdalene, hurriedly lifted off from Munich, Germany, with a skeleton crew, it's passengers two very wealthy families and an academic professor, friend of the owner. It was never seen again. 75 years later the hunt is on after a small gold ingot, stamped with one of the families' crests, is discovered by two climbers in the Alps. But far more than gold is being sought by the pursuers. One of these is Sam Reilly, caught up in a life and death struggle he had never anticipated.

Parts of the book are dramatically atmospheric, all is exciting. Michael Stene narrates clearly and well, in a suitably fast pace, giving an almost newsreel effect to the commentary. The voicings of each protagonist is identifiably distinctive and the whole gives extra excitement to the reading. Occasionally, however, events occuring in different places are run together without break, which can be momentarily confusing: a brief pause between such scenes would have been advantageous. There are also a number of editorial glitches where repeated phrases have not been removed, but these are few and do not interfere with the enjoyment.

As has been noted by other reviewers, the story was surprising as it is set, not in wartime but in the present day ( apart from the introductory chapter) and requires the reader to step into a world of high powered millionaire wealthies, all, apparently, afflicted with a sense of personal superiority and entitlement as well as the luxuries which attend their money. Need to suspend disbelief? Probably, big time. But the story does sweep the reader along with it, rarely pausing sufficiently long to let in trickles of doubt. My thanks to the rights holder who gifted me a complementary copy of The Last Airship, via Audiobook Boom. A fast and fun listen which should appeal to the readers of books which favour the glitzy James Bond type of plots and society.

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- Norma Miles


This is an interesting story that wasn't what I expected when I started to listen to it. I thought it was going to be about the people who were on the airship that were fleeing Germany in 1939. It actually takes place in current times with just one scene at the beginning in 1939. The story is well written with a good plot and quite plausible. I did not like how the Jews were stereotyped that upset me, it was not necessary. Apart from that the recording is good. The presenter did an excellent job and I commend him for his performance.
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 22-08-2017
  • Publisher: Ashton Publishing Group