AN EXCHANGE OF EAGLES by Owen Sela
Kirkus Star

AN EXCHANGE OF EAGLES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Borrowing a Day from Forsyth's Jackal and a Night from Kirst's Generals, Sela puts together three taut months of assassination pipedreams and internecine Nazi nastiness in 1940. The trick here is that the schemers are transatlantic and peaceloving: Abwehr officer Paul von Osten wants to dispose of Hitler, Max Schroeder of US Army Intelligence wants that ""lousy double-crossing bastard"" FDR dead, and they've both turned traitor because their leaders are warmongers with A-bombs at the ready. So--an exchange of eagles, with plans for ski-bombing Adolf and Eva in their mountain chalet (Schroeder lends von Osten champion US skier Dave Stannard) and shooting FDR in Virginia (Schroeder enlists a Louisiana mauiac, saying ""Huey wants you to pull the trigger""). As we know all along from dull old history, neither target falls, but the suspense churns nonetheless as a British spy and assorted Nazi bigwigs begin to figure out the twin assassination timetables. Real folks--Heydrich, GÖring, Himmler, J. Edgar Hoover, Lucky Luciano--play important roles, and FDR thinks up lend-lease right before our eyes. Such tacky touches aside, Sela handles this fact-fiction kaleidoscoping far better than most, and von Osten is as sympathetic a would-be assassin as we'll have this year. Add considerable torture and a dollop of inter-spy sex, and Operation Double Eagle has all it takes to soar.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1977
Publisher: Pantheon