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Heroic American doctor and plucky French gamine team up to neutralize a Nazi threat in Keizer’s follow-up to The Longest Night (2004).

It’s November 1942. Modest German detective Willi Kirn, stationed in Caen, France, reacts warily to the unannounced arrival of imperious Doktor Wollenstein, an influential member of the SS and a favorite of Himmler. Wollenstein orders Kirn to find a truckload of Jews who have escaped before being transferred to the intended train. No further details are forthcoming, but it’s an order that Kirn dare not refuse, let alone question. Unbeknownst to the Germans, the escapees turn up on a small fishing boat off the coast of England. The boat’s captain, M. Pilon, has been pressed to undertake the daring mission by his daughter Alix, a dedicated fighter with the French Resistance. Meanwhile, in Dakar, American doctor Frank Brink, an expert in biological warfare, is studying (without government authorization) a small outbreak of a disease with plague-like symptoms. Brink is abruptly arrested and flown to England by his boss, Dr. Paul Childess. Heated words are followed by a frightening revelation: Pilon and all 13 Jewish refugees have perished, their symptoms very similar to those Brink has been studying in Dakar. Alix alone survives and at length recovers. Suspecting that both outbreaks were engineered by the Nazis, the Allies appeal to the experienced Brink to find the lab where the plague is being manufactured. The trail begins with Alix’s colleague Clavette, who helped the Jews escape. The SS doctor is at the center of preparations for a devastating biological attack on England, while the detective’s inner turmoil may provide the opening Brink needs to succeed.

A simplistic plot delivered with race-against-the-clock urgency.

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 2005
ISBN: 0-399-15319-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2005