THE RETURN by Evelyn Anthony


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Anthony's latest cosmopolitan romance-suspense is weak on the romance, fair on the suspense, and heavy on the political history: the action often steams into panel discussions on the WW II Yalta Conference--specifically, the Allies' promise to send back to Russia all those POWs and other Soviet citizens (""a million helpless souls"") who had fought for the Germans. Parisian publisher Nicholas Yurovsky is the son of one of those repatriated (and purged) anti-Soviet Russians; and now, 30 years later, Nicky wants to dramatize the repatriation purges--by conspiring with some other Paris-based anti-Soviets to kidnap Moscow biggie Grigor Melinkov (a director of those purges) when he visits Paris. All of which is very upsetting for heiress Anna Martin, Nicholas' fiancÉe, who soon finds herself--despite her tycoon mother's attempts to separate her from Nicky--a bride and a co-conspirator: ""From now on, we're together in this. . . what happened to your father and all those helpless people who were sent back has got to be accounted for."" And, despite the counter-activities of Anna's ex-husband, a left-wing journalist, the plan goes splendidly (though a bit more violently than as planned): Melinkov is abducted, imprisoned, and put on trial, in ""one of the most perfectly executed propaganda coups in modern history."" A twist ending (it was all a Soviet plot?) doesn't quite work, but the main problem here is that heroine Anna and her passion for Nicky are never really at the core of the issue-heavy drama. Still, polished and shapely--and fiercely anti-Soviet enough to make Helen MacInnes look like a pinko.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1978
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan