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LAST ACT by Clive Egleton


by Clive Egleton

Pub Date: July 24th, 1991
ISBN: 0-312-05887-X
Publisher: St. Martin's

The suicide of a Polish expatriate in mid-century London leads to an investigation of treachery and heroism during the WW II Warsaw uprising, and then to past-Nazi nastiness in sunny California, in this latest from the prolific Egleton (A Different Drummer, etc.). The body of Polish resistance hero Stefan Zagorski, plus its attached 50-pound bag of cement that dropped through the roof of a stolen convertible, did more than interrupt the coitus of the parked pair of London lowlifes. Mr. Zagorski's pocket contained an envelope addressed to one Michael Kimber in Salisbury, with a letter accusing Mr. Kimber, among others, of betrayal just before the Russian takeover of Poland. The guiltless Kimber, now an employee of Britain's military-intelligence office, is ordered to nip off to Germany to find out what Zagorski had on his mind and to clean up any mess before the Americans, already unhappy about Burgess, Maclean, and Philby, get the idea that they have something new to worry about with their cousins. Kimber's inquiries concentrate on the beautiful Polish woman with whom he worked during the war, as well as on a handful of greedy, art-snatching Nazis who knew more than they should have about the leadership of the resistance. Odd. The people he questions seem to die ghastly deaths soon after he visits them, which is disconcerting for Kimber. Harrowing scenes of wartime Poland, together with Egleton's complex and credible characters, are for the most part enough to atone for an exasperatingly muddled plot.