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Three spy networks become entangled in London as Nazi bombs drop in the last days of American neutrality. The old thriller formulae continue to work brilliantly.

Tom Wall, a Yank who couldn’t wait for America to enter the war, took the King’s shilling and saw war at its worst in the doomed rearguard action to hold Crete. Hospitalized back in Britain, Wall’s case of shell shock is aggravated by his belief that his brother Earl, an employee of Bill Donovan’s fledgling American intelligence outfit, betrayed the Brits on Crete as the Nazis overran the island. Now Earl has gone missing, and Tom’s furious need to find his brother has played into the hands of British intelligence operatives who hold as their prisoner a very senior spy with his own reasons to speak to Earl. When the Brits, who are frantic to protect their successful penetration of Germany’s English spy ring, dress up Tom as Earl and send him in to see their captive, Sondegger, the German, is not fooled. Sondegger’s agenda is to keep America out of the fight. Manipulating Tom from his cell, he sends the battered young man out into London to find the bit of microfilm that Earl was to have taken to the embassy. The microfilm reveals the Japanese plans for an impending attack on Pearl Harbor. Woozy from hospital drugs and in constant pain from a battle-ravaged left hand, Tom thrashes his way around the city on Earl’s trail, reunites with Lady Harriet, Earl’s wife and Tom’s lost love, meets a ravishing stripper in one of Earl’s old haunts, gets badly battered by two thugs working for a fascist peer who just happens to be Lady Harriet’s father, gets thrown back in the hospital, escapes and throws himself back into the fray. Meanwhile, a pretty German spy runs loose, cheerfully slicing up intelligence agency employees as the time draws near for her transmittal back home of the report that will blow the whistle on the British subversion of the Nazi spies.

Agreeably tense and complex.

Pub Date: July 12th, 2005
ISBN: 0-385-51388-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2005