TEETH OF THE WOLF by Alain Paris


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Followers of WW II fiction will chortle when they read, in the publisher's blurb, that Paris' short tale of 1945 suspense is ""based on virtually unknown facts concerning the existence of an SS unit made up of British pro-Nazi turncoats""; the British Free Corps has, of course, appeared in a dozen or so recent Nazi thrillers--and there are few surprises in this sturdy, routine first novel by a French journalist. It's April 1945, the Americans are in Germany, the Russians are heading for Berlin--and a broken-down Hitler, egged on by the wily Bormann, has had ""traitor"" GÖring taken into SS custody. The FÜhrer is unsure of SS loyalty, however; so he and Bormann summon Capt. Karl-Heinz Hellmann to the bunker, ordering him to execute GÖring--with help from Hellmann's old British Free Corps squad. Very reluctantly, disillusioned about the war and hating the Free Corps creeps, Hellmann sets out on the mission, dogged by vicious Lieutenant Wrack. The group tangles with US troops, dons US uniforms, is mistakenly attacked by Germans, feuds within the ranks--especially when they're joined by German lass Erika (whom Hellmann repeatedly must rescue from rape). Meanwhile, the Americans learn of the commandos' intentions and determine (""for intelligence purposes"") to save GÖring, who is being held at a hideout near Mautendorf. Hellmann tries to cancel the mission, but his sister is being held by Bormann as ransom. And finally, after a series of violent encounters (including Erika's sexual entrapment of a Free Corps psychopath), there's survival for GÖring. . . and a happy farceur for new lovers Erika and Hellmann. Sprinkled with suicide/escape vignettes from Hitler's bunker: modestly entertaining action/speculation, with nothing that US readers haven't come across before in more spirited form.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1983
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston