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WARLORD'S HILL by George Fox



Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 1982
Publisher: Times Books

As if New Jersey doesn't have enough problems, now it's swarming with nee-Nazis--as Fox (Amok) concocts farfetched plot-convolutions à la Ludlum, but without the the hero-centered energy of a top-grade Ludlum paranoia-fest. Ex-journalist Roy Hammil is hired as a media consultant by N.J. Rep. Lloyd Bauer, who's planning a run for the Senate; so, with Jewish wife Terry, Roy arrives at the Bauer family estate: Warlord's Hill, a fenced-in manse where (on orders from Lloyd's old tycoon-father) everything remains exactly as it was in 1939! Just an eccentricity? Well, while Roy starts working (investigating the Bauer past, supposedly to make sure no scandal arises during the campaign), Terry gets scared and suspicious--with good reason. Warlord's Hill, after all, is really an enclave of never-say-die US Nazis--led by Bauer Sr., a creepy doctor, and the ""Old Man,"" a bona fide German war-criminal. They've trained a generation of zombie-esque followers on the sealed-off, frozen-in-1939 estate; they regularly perform ritual murders of elderly Jews nabbed from a nearby nursing-home; they plan to stage a Washington coup, with help from politicos like Lloyd (who only half-knows what's going on); and their major obstacle is a longtime fugitive named Rawls--one of a group of children who stumbled on the Nazi goings-on back in 1948. So, while neo-Nazi assassins pursue Rawls around the country, Roy digs deeper into the Bauer family history (with some wild results involving switched identities and repressed childhood memories). And eventually Terry will be fingered as the next ritual-murder victim . . . just as Rawls arrives at Warlord's Hill for a showdown and some of the Nazi followers start rebelling. A few grisly action-sequences, then, with some locked-in-estate atmosphere--but only those with a taste for Rube Goldberg plotting and lurid effects will go the distance here, especially since Fox pads out the proceedings with talky recaps and ill-fitting subplots.