The German

Lethe Press
March 2011

Now available at and

For your Kindle. Additional ebook versions at Smashwords.


Winner of the Lambda Literary Award SF/F/H!

Winner of the Il Posto Negro (The Black Spot) Award: Excellence 2012: Foreign Fiction Book!

A Finalist for the Bram Stoker Award: Superior Achievement in a Novel!

A Finalist for the TLA Video Awards!

A Finalist for an EDGE Award!

Cited as one of the year's best by The Advocate!

Named to the American Library Association's Over the Rainbow Reading List: Mystery!

On more than 10 "Best of the Year" lists!



The Advocate has named The German one of the Best Books of 2011!

"Lambda-winner Thomas (The Dust of Wonderland) sets this powerful thriller in a small Texas town in 1944. As a mysterious killer preys on the community's young men—leaving pro-Nazi notes inside the victims' mouths—the frightened residents cast blame on the area's sizable German population. Their chief suspect is Ernst Lang, a gay ex-soldier who fled Germany years earlier. Lang has been an exemplary neighbor, but his nationality and sexuality make him a target for a largely ignorant and panicked populace looking for a scapegoat. The supernatural element of the story is decidedly understated, but the novel's overall thematic power and narrative eloquence are wrenching. Thomas's compelling imagery (religion and politics are "gardens of atrocity" that grow "fat succulent flora") and disturbing portrait of humanity at its worse will haunt readers long after the last page is turned."
Publishers Weekly (Apr.)

"Award-winning author Lee Thomas wields tension like a knife in his latest murder mystery, The German. The novel establishes such a thick mood of dread and anticipation during its first ten pages that even the bravest readers will need to muster the courage to continue. Those who do will be rewarded with a complex and intriguing plot in which Thomas examines themes of racism and sexual repression amidst a rich portrayal of 1940s Texas - a setting that is as engrossing as it is shockingly abhorrent…. As tumultuous as this reality may be for the reader, it makes for a truly thought-provoking and gripping work of fiction."
Rue Morgue Magazine #109

"Since its release least year, Lee Thomas’ The German has been building steady buzz among readers who are up for provoking, intelligent genre material. Initially championed in the horror and gay fiction circles, it deserves a wider range of readers… Like Peter Straub and Joe Lansdale, Lee Thomas realizes one of the best ways to terrify the reader is to confront the horror they personally carry around."
— MysteryPeople

"Thomas’ book is an important novel, one that uses the tropes of horror fiction to address matters that are still vitally relevant today, more than sixty years after the time in which it is set."
— Black Static #25

"With The German, Thomas chips away at the thin coat of varnish that separates the veneer of civility from the undercoat of barbarism. The result is a novel that builds … to an unexpectedly fierce, heartrending finale that's less an eyebrow-raising surprise and more a series of rapid-fire sucker punches that will leave you slack-jawed and breathless. Devastating…The German is this summer's must-read genre title."
—Lambda Literary

"On the heels of The Dust of Wonderland, which I consider a masterpiece of gay horror, I had high expectations for Thomas’s [The German]. He did not disappoint me… Thomas will haunt you in a raw way as your mind screams for you to turn away."
Lambda Literary (Yes, they reviewed the book twice!)

"Lee Thomas is a master storyteller whose writing chops are on par, if not slightly above, most current best-selling authors. The German, the latest title from this local Lambda Literary Award and Bram Stoker Award winner, is a powerful narrative about childhood, homosexuality, war and prejudice."
— The Austin Post

"It's not a pretty story in any aspect, nor is it meant to be, nor should it be, so be warned that the violence is graphic and literal and shocking. This is entirely right because it is shocking, what happens and who it happens to and why. It's a terrible but sadly true indictment of human behaviour, beautifully observed and told with true skill." 5 (out of 5) Stars!"
Speak its Name
, review by Erastes

"The German is one of a handful of great books I have read. Highly recommended. Five bees."
— Gerry B’s Book Reviews

"There are books out there that I've read that just stick with me… The German is one of those rare gems… Don't miss it. Get the book today, trust me this one will stay with you for a very long time."
— Out in Print

"The German… is a grisly, engrossing page-turner from Lambda awarding-winning author Lee Thomas. [It] isn’t a conventional mystery novel, but rather an intriguing period piece complete with historical references and character studies that will likely provoke thought and discussion and remind its readers how far we’ve come."
EDGE New York

"The German twists racial and sexual prejudices into a tightly woven thriller that had me guessing until the end. …[P]oetic and smooth, yet always able to genuinely chill the spine."
— Nick Cato, The Horror Fiction Review

"If you've never read anything by Lee Thomas, you've been missing out on some incredible story telling. The German however, is like nothing he's ever done before. Don't miss it. Get the book today, trust me this one will stay with you for a very long time."
Out in Print

"Author Thomas is a master of the "speculative horror-mystery" genre, which I previously enjoyed in his The Dust of Wonderland. [The German] is equally creative, and is an engrossing read that works on different levels for a variety of readers. Five stars out of five."
— Bob Lind, Echo Magazine

"The writing is smooth, the pace fast, and the setting deftly drawn. At times I was reminded of a darker To Kill a Mockingbird… Highly recommended and memorable."
— Rita Oakes

—Jack Ketchum, author of The Girl Next Door and The Woman

“The German by Lee Thomas is an accomplished, gut-wrencher of a novel… Unflinchingly confronts the consequences of ignorance’s inevitable turn to violence.”
— Paul Tremblay, author of No Sleep ‘til Wonderland and In the Mean Time

"The German is a smart and bravely conceived thriller, rich with historical detail that draws readers into its WWII-era story of small town violence and repressed sexuality. Lee Thomas populates his fictional town with believable, multi-faceted characters, and he shifts perspectives effortlessly to give the most complete view of the story. And at the story's dark heart is the German of the title: a mysterious, seemingly detached narrator whose hypnotic voice reveals layers of complexity as the story unfolds. By the time the book races towards its exciting, agonizing conclusion, readers won't know who the real monsters are."
—Norman Prentiss, Bram Stoker Award-Winner, Author of Invisible Fences

"Lee Thomas is an extraordinary horror writer and his new novel, The German, will astonish you with its realism, complexity, and ground-shaking terror. Set in small town Texas at the end of World War II and told through by a variety of narrators, a series of gruesome murders casts suspicion on a gay German immigrant with his own haunted past. An intense and thrilling read you will not want to put down and will leave you dizzy with fear when you do.
—Jameson Currier, author of The Wolf at the Door