THE MISSION by Jerome Tuccille


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Tuccille (Wall Street Blues, 1988) and Jacobs have a go at the mystery of Rudolf Hess's crash landing in wartime Scotland. Could Winston Churchill have cleared it up? The imprisoned Rudolf Hess died in Spandau Prison without telling his story to the press. A member of Hitler's inner circle, Hess piloted his own plane to Scotland in the early days of the war, crash-landed, and was immediately taken prisoner. What message was he bringing? And for whom was it meant? Here, Hess is headed for the estate of crypto-fascist Duke of Hamilton, and his mission is to convince the British to throw their lot in with the Germans, who want to go after the Bolsheviks--in which case the Nazis will guarantee no further attacks on the empire. But Hess's crash landing queers the meeting with the duke and lands him with the local militia, who lock him up and hide him away until the government can figure out whether what he says is what he means and, if so, what they will do about it. The effort to keep Hess's presence secret fails when reporter Philip Renfield goes digging after the story and catches the authorities swapping Hess with a look-alike and then sending the rest of the press barking up the wrong tree. Why? It seems Churchill and his top aide, Sir John Simon, may seriously consider Hess's offer. Renfield himself may be co-opted by the politicians--those who need his help if they are to see Hess's secret journal before they make their decisions. The mystery remains murky--despite author Jacob's advertised closeness to the events.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1990
ISBN: 1-55611-199-1
Publisher: Donald Fine
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