The Orchids - Thomas H. Cook

The Orchids

Artist Thomas H. Cook

  • Release Date: 2011-09-06
  • Genre: Historical


As the world closes in around them, two Nazis hide out in a tropical paradise
The servants sense something strange about the two old men. They are not sure what business Dr. Langhof and Dr. Ludtz have in El Caliz, but they are certain that whatever they do in their colonial mansion is the work of the devil. Although they do not know the specifics of the two men’s crimes, the servants are right to suspect something sinister.  The men are Nazis, fugitives from international law who fled to this South American haven in the chaotic days after World War II. Langhof brought with him a cache of stolen diamonds, with which he bought their safety from the small nation’s corrupt president. He passes his days cultivating a stunning greenhouse full of orchids, and meditating on the evil acts that fill his past. For now they are safe, but fate has many ways of dealing out justice.
“Cook has shown himself to be a writer of poetic gifts.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review “Cook writes piercing thrillers.” —Daily News 
Thomas H. Cook (b. 1947) is the author of nearly two dozen critically lauded crime novels. Born in Fort Payne, Alabama, Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980 while serving as the book review editor of Atlanta magazine. Two years later, on the release of his second novel, The Orchids, he turned to writing full-time. Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Frank Clemons trilogy, a series of mysteries starring a jaded cop. He found breakout success with The Chatham School Affair (1996), which won an Edgar Award for best novel. His work has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose. Besides mysteries, Cook has written two true-crime books, Early Graves (1992) and the Edgar-nominated Blood Echoes (1993), as well as several literary novels, including Elena (1986). He lives and works in New York City.


  • Powerful and Thought-Provoking

    By FeHRSE
    A Holocaust novel full of searing imagery and infinite unanswerable questions regarding human nature and the nature of the evil that men do, The Orchids is unlike anything Thomas H. Cook has ever written. IMHO, this novel stands with Schindler's List as one of the great meditations upon the Holocaust, and why the Holocaust must never be forgotten. If I am not mistaken, Cook's novel predates Thomas Keneally's book by several years, and coincidentally stands poles apart from the story of Oskar Schindler. Keneally's story offers hope amidst the massive misery and atrocity of the Final Solution. Cook dares question the very nature of hope in the midst of such inhuman and inhumane horror: Can there be such a thing as redemption after such monstrous crimes? Can any person be truly innocent of some kind of complicity, even decades after the fact? All that need be remembered is: as Spielberg 's movie was leaving audiences stunned and weeping, Bosnian Serbs were engaged in their campaign of Ethnic Cleansing.