WALK WITH THE DEVIL by Elliott Arnold
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An unusual story, in that its interest and values lie on the level of psychological conflicts, while its setting is war in Southern Italy, its proponents, people to whom the war and its implications are at the focus of the immediate issues. Guy Bertini, American born, did not realize the potency of his Italian blood until he found himself a Captain in OSS, American Army, assigned to a secret service mission involving his Italian born brother whom he- at homes- had helped convict on charges of illegal activities in traffic of liquor, women and drugs. The mission raised a moral issue; Guy was charged to offer his brother not only money and security but reinstatement of the American citizenship he had sacrificed, if he would betray his Italian and German associates, and secure the bridge, sole entrance to the town. Guy went that far- and farther, agreeing to the sordid price his brother further demanded, a price which involved Guy in complicity. But this alone did not change him. It was when he found himself bearer of the secret plan to cheat the gangster of the final price that he knew that he himself had ""walked with the devil"" and could not free himself. The scenes in the officers' quarters where the idealist, Russell Linscomb, and the realist, General Culpeper, battle for common ground, not knowing Guy is at stake; the scenes in which Guy's gangster brother plays Guy for a sucker -- in which it is the gangster who is straight, the moralist crooked, these are unique in their test of our own moral precepts. Arnold's best book to date.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1950
Publisher: Knopf