THE ENIGMA by Michael Barak

THE ENIGMA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hitler's first V-2 has gone astray and landed in Sweden. Its charred remains are shipped to Churchill, who realizes that the D-Day invasion may be repulsed by these deadly rockets--he must have access to the German Enigma codes. And so Bodley of Special Operations arranges the release from a British jail of Francis de Belvoir, a thief and smuggler possessing the makeup skills of Laurence Olivier and the swashbuckling savoir-faire of Raffles. De Belvoir (who demands 400,000 pounds for the deal) will steal a German Enigma code machine and hijack it to London. After arranging for an enormous number of disguises to be shipped to him in Paris via Lisbon, he parachutes into France and sets up an operation with the Underground to heist an Enigma being shipped on a train. But Oberst Rudolf von Beck, his nemesis, knows all about the raid--he and de Belvoir share the same ravishing mistress, Michele Levine. So the smuggler next uses his disguises to arrange for the Communist underground to help him steal an unlisted Enigma from yon Beck's headquarters. But the mission ultimately is a failure--exactly what Churchill intended it to be from the start, since the British had the Enigma all along (this much is historical fact): de Belvoir's mission was just a charade to make the Germans believe that England didn't have the Enigma. WW II buffs, knowing the truth about Enigma, will see through the charade from the start--which will probably spoil for them an otherwise serviceable cloak-and-dagger.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1978
Publisher: Morrow