THE IRON MEN by Leonard B. Scott


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 A washed-up American officer joins a gang of grizzled German WW II veterans seeking vengeance against the SS captain who murdered their comrades and then rose to the top of the East German secret police. Scott has taken on the Vietnam War (The Expendables, 1991, etc.) and now heats up the last days of the cold war. Battered and bruised by a scandalous divorce, his military career washed down the tubes with booze, Lt. Col. Jake Tallon gets his last assignment--a desk job in Berlin, where his superiors hope he will fade away. But Tallon doesn't fade. Sucking in his breath and limiting himself to light beers, Jake analyzes the military readiness of his new office, finds it wanting, kicks backsides, and takes names. He also meets pretty, half-German Kristina Hastings, his local State Department oppo, and becomes involved with her and her widowed dad, Axel Mader. Herr Mader, a wealthy contractor, still entertains hopes of finding Horst Volker, the Nazi officer who, in the last days of the Third Reich, executed Mader's exhausted paratroopers for their failure to hold off the advancing Russians. Volker went straight from the SS to the Stasi, the new East German secret service that he rose to control. But the East German government has begun to be shaken by the general collapse of communism, and Volker's invulnerability is no longer certain. When Jake and Axel at last go to battle with Volker, they are joined by Jake's resourceful former sergeant and two of the German officers who swore with Axel to bring Volker to justice. The toughest of the bunch is Jorn Furman, the man whose legs Volker shot off and whose life in the workers' paradise has been made hell by Volker's Stasi. Plucky old soldiers fight a good fight--in an improbable but rousing adventure.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-345-37753-2
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993


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