Oil, my God!"" ""Good Lord, what a deception!"" ""Good Christ!"" Yes, folks, it's that Ludlum bedlam time of year again, when some lean, handsome, upright fellow (here, architect Noel Holcroft) finds himself suddenly attacked by the world's biggest and longest Excedrin headache, brought on by some incredibly complicated international conspiracy, and expressed in a hysterical stream of italics and exclamation points. This year, thank heaven, there's at least no offensive pretense of connection to reality, as there was in 1977's J. Edgar Hoover-inspired Chancellor Manuscript. Noel's problem is that his real, long-dead father was a Nazi (mother ran away to America with baby Noel) who supposedly became repentant and, together with other nice Nazis, left 780 million bucks in a Swiss bank to be spent on consoling concentration-camp victims. Noel must find the other now-grown children of these repentant Nazis and join them in spreading the wealth. Easier said than done, since various sinister societies either want or don't want all this to happen: three bystanders are dead by the time Noel just flies home from Zurich to N.Y.--with more to follow, including Noel's beloved step-dad. Flustered but resilient, Noel goes searching for his co-executors, to Brazil, England, France, and Germany, learning along the way about the ODESSA and the Rache and the Nachrichtendienst, but--aha!--it's none of the above--it's. . . the Sonnenkinder! Children of unrepentant Nazis who are ready to take over the world, using that 780 million as Noel's sneaky dad always intended! Led by the Tinamou!--the blond executioner whose sister Noel loves! The likes of E. P. Oppenheim, Edgar Wallace, and the young Agatha Christie wrote this sort of convoluted Fu Manchu nonsense two generations ago, but they did it with much more style, far less paper consumption, and even some humor--a word not in Ludlum's limited vocabulary. That's progress for you.