RIVER OF DEATH by Alistair MacLean
Kirkus Star


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Speedy, bouncy adventure-melodrama--as MacLean leaps from the icy aridities of Athabasca to the green hell of Brazil. But what would South America be without the Nazis? So first there's a 1945 prologue, with the Russians overrunning Berlin and evil Major Wolfgang Von Manteuffel loading zillions in Nazi war loot aboard a long-range U-boat, with the help of Col. Heinrich Spaatz--whom Von Manteuffel unsuccessfully tries to kill. Will Spaatz take revenge 30 years later? Well, wait and see--as we now move to filthy, remote, present-day Southern Brazil--where robust, enigmatic John Hamilton, seconded by twins Ramon and Navarre (!) of Greek Intelligence, claims to know the location of the fabled Lost City of the Mate Grosso. This intelligence makes its way to Joshua Smith, the richest man in South America, and eventually Smith makes a play for Hamilton's help in getting to the Lost City. Also along on the trip: Maria, Smith's secretary-mistress (she's really with Mossad); Serrano, secretly with Brazil's Ministry of Culture, Fine Arts Division; and a handful of heavies meant for early slaughter. Cannibals, pythons, beasties, and waterfalls all ensue--until Hamilton leads the team into the Lost City. . . where that devil Von Manteuffel sits in state above the greatest wealth in the world. And who is Joshua Smith, now face to face with him? We'll Spaatz in your eye if you don't guess. Juvenile stuff, predictable and silly--but jaunty, mindless fun for MacLeaners all the same, without the soft of tedious dialogue that made Athabasca such a slog through the tundra.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1982
ISBN: 0007289383
Publisher: Doubleday