From undistinguished beginnings and with an unattractive physique and manner, ""not even the wildest fantast could have foretold"" the satellite success of Martin Bormann, who became Hitler's ""brown eminence."" No one has established either whether he is dead or still alive, although in 1964 Mladin Zarubica gave a highly fictitious account of his survival in The Year of the Rat which Mr. McGovern does not acknowledge in his wide-ranging bibliography. McGovern, who has written both fiction and non-fiction operating out of the Nazi experience, retells the knowns of Bormann's careers as he made himself indispensable to the Fuehrer, displaced Hess, lived through the last days in the Bunker and at first withheld the fact of Hitler's death, and offers the various speculations on Bormann's escape. Eichmann contended he was still alive. The credentials seem sound and the resume of his life is satisfactorily told although one questions whether it can have much extension to the general reader.