“I was raised on the great wartime novels and movies of World War II, a time when my father, uncles, and all their mates were veterans of that great struggle for global liberation. But it took many years of my own adventures before I felt that I’d seen almost enough, tasted the nectar of victory and the brine of defeat, served at sea and in combat, trekked through deserts and parachuted from military aircraft in the blazing heat or the ice of night, that I thought I might be getting close to telling this tale. And of course, to write the sort of love story that’s at the heart of The Last of the Seven, you have to have loved and lost as well, and I’d done that too. So, this is a story that encompasses all those things, while harkening back to a time of idealistic purity, when right seemed clear and wrong seemed bold. I think I captured it, but I’ll let you be the judge.”
- Steven Hartov to John Morgan, winter, 2021.
From Publisher Harper Collins-Hanover Square Press
A spellbinding novel of World War II based on the little-known history of the “X Troop”—a team of European Jews who escaped the Continent only to join the British Army and return home to exact their revenge on Hitler’s military.
North Africa 1942
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. For 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, where he’s recruited by a British major to join the newly formed “X Troop,” a commando unit composed of German and Austrian Jews that’s 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.
“A classic WWII raid story in the behind-the-lines tradition of The Guns of Navarone, Steven Hartov’s The Last of the Seven ticks like a detonator and explodes like a bomb. I read it at one rush and the book didn’t lose momentum the whole way. Hartov himself is the real deal, a veteran of IDF Intelligence and a paratrooper (currently a reserve major in the US Army.) He delivers his tale with such vivid and authentic detail that you come away believing you too can speak Hochdeutsch, Yiddish, and Hebrew as you take on Hitler’s atomic labs deep in the heart of the Third Reich.”
— Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of Gates of Fire and A Man at Arms
“The Last Of The Seven is a beautifully told war story, written with stirring prose and painstakingly accurate detail. Hartov shares a little known but compelling slice of Second World War history where German Jewish escapees were employed behind enemy lines in British commando operations that carried extreme risk and high stakes. The plot is a nail-biter. The dialogue crackles. The characters are memorable. And the exotic settings are laid out with such historical precision that you’ll feel as if you are on the ground watching the horror, the sacrifice, the bravery, and the romance unfold in front of your eyes. Another absolute winner from Hartov.”
— Daniel Kalla, bestselling author of The Far Side of the Sky and The Darkness In The Light
“An immensely readable, addictive, tense, and dramatic World War II adventure. Steven Hartov’s descriptive skills draw the reader in from the very beginning and his fluent writing style keeps you turning the pages. Hugely enjoyable.”
— Dominic Piper, author of Kiss Me When I’m Dead and the Daniel Beckett series.