THE SOLSTICE CIPHER by Bruce Hatton Boyer


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Yet another secret-attempt-at-WWII-peace novel--but a reasonably engaging one. Field Marshal Rommel, preparing to defend the North Africa/Atlantic front, is visited by crippled General von Stauffenberg--who convinces him that Germany cannot withstand the imminent invasion and that Hitler must be deposed, Rommel taking his place. A plot is hatched; and soon secret messages cryptic enough to withstand SS scrutiny but decipherable by the British G-2 (Intelligence) in London are being broadcast--the messages are disguised as an enormous series of weather observations about the winter solstice. And G-2 at last deciphers the coded plea from Rommel & Company: the German generals want to arrange capitulation before the invasion! A messenger to Rommel must be sent, but who? It happens that U.S. Major Tim Loftis, who is preparing a geological study of the invasion beaches for SHEAF, is the perfect man for G-2 to send to Rommel. Tim has been squiring around a pretty G-2 ""widow,"" a WAAF officer who works with codes and whose pilot husband apparently died on a raid. But he is not dead, and the Gestapo has her husband's ring and is blackmailing her about the invasion plans. So, when Tim parachutes into Normandy in bitter rain on the eve of D-Day, the SS is as eager to get him as is Rommel. Tim at last catches up with Rommel but only at the moment of death, as the invasion shells burst everywhere. . . . Entertaining--with a lively sense of wartime London, a believable love story, a likable Rommel, plenty of SS crazies storming about, and some nifty cipher stuff.

Pub Date: June 8th, 1979
Publisher: Lippincott