KNIGHT'S CROSS by E.M. Nathanson


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 The author of A Dirty Distant War (1987), etc., teams up with a career soldier/spy on a thriller about a top-secret OSS effort to round up Hitler and his cronies before they can commit suicide or otherwise escape the crashing Third Reich. Inter- and intra-service rivalries provide the bulk of the infrequent tense spots in the last days of the war in Europe. Captain Dan Brooks has been ordered by the Office of Strategic Services to drop into the Austrian Alps, where it's believed the top Nazis are preparing a superbunker to defend themselves forever from the advancing Allies. Brooks's project is plagued from the get-go by the intelligence-collecting side of OSS, where an ambitious Navy officer and his team of German-American spies think themselves better suited to go after the FÅhrer, while Brooks shrugs them off and flies to France to recruit nearly 200 hundred disillusioned Wehrmacht POWs, all but one of whom want dearly to knock off the men who have ruined their beloved Vaterland. Trained and equipped to pose as German mountain troops, the agents parachute into the Austrian Alps, then settle into barns and attics belonging to the local Nazi-haters. Brooks sends out a couple of his American lieutenants in Gestapo clothes to gather intelligence, and the fake cops quickly find that, while there aren't yet any really big Nazis in town, there are some really pesky Americans, the agents Brooks tangled with in back in London, as well as Russians who have their own plans for the German leaders. Dan gets things straightened out in time for the arrival of a mysteriously and heavily bandaged fugitive and his SS bodyguards. Is the man in the mummy suit Der FÅhrer? Everything is sorted out, and justice more or less served, months later in Switzerland, where Allen Dulles makes a cameo appearance. Ponderous ``what-if?'' epic.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-55972-168-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Birch Lane Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1993


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