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An American flyer sneaks into Nazi Germany on the trail of a treacherous State Department employee who plans to assassinate F.D.R., by the author of A Different Kind of Rain, 1978, and The Far Side, 1975. Second Lieutenant Peter Burke is a reluctant spy. The son of a prominent general, Peter wants to find his own niche in the Air Corps, well away from his father's influence, so he is bitterly unhappy when he is summoned to the Washington office of his father's old friend and tennis partner Bertram Starke, now an Assistant Secretary of State. Starke has a special problem. Someone in America's London embassy has been leaking F.D.R.'s letters to Winston Churchill to the Nazis. Publication of those letters would reveal the President's plans to support Britain against Germany in defiance of America's firmly neutral stance, a serious threat to Roosevelt's reelection. Starke wants Peter to see whether the leak is coming from Scott Reardon, an embassy employee Peter knew when they were both boys. An attempted kidnapping in Lisbon on his way to England warns Peter that someone is dead keen on keeping him off the case. When he at last makes it to London, he discovers that crypto-Bolshevik Reardon, whose hatred of American politicians is unusually strong, has ambitions well beyond a few purloined letters. Peter's efforts at detection are seriously hampered by hateful, hot-tempered Ambassador Joe Kennedy--and pleasantly confused by attractive British spyette Claire Hollier. Reardon bolts to the Continent, where he is equipped by the Nazis with a deadly weapon and aimed at FDR. Peter pursues him to darkest Berlin and then, assisted by a Nazi turncoat, back to home--where Reardon is closing in on the President. Readable but not terribly tense WW II thriller.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1989
Publisher: Norton