MARCH THE NINTH by R. C. Hutchinson

MARCH THE NINTH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Offbeat for Hutchinson in a straight story of adventure -- cloak and dagger vintage with an unusual setup. The background is the disputed border area of Italy- Albania- Yugoslavia. The characters include some of the United Nations officials, with the lead figure an Austrian-American doctor, occupying a semi-diplomatic post; shadowy border figures, refugees, outlaws, ex-guerillas, and sturdy natives resentful and sullen over occupancy, and other natives playing at high politics on the Communist fringe. The time is 1947. Eugen, who tells the story, finds himself caught into a web of intricate plotting. Summoned to perform an operation on a wounded man, incognito in hiding at the estate of his father-in-law, Eugen finds himself saving the life of a Junker officer of the breed he loathed, forced into an untenable position by a man of questionable political standards, and bound by a slender thread of attraction to the sick man's wife. Then comes the discovery that the life he has saved is forfeit to the survivors of a Jugoslav village where the manpower had been decimated in a cruel taking of hostages in payment for the attack on the forces led by the German officer. There's a strange conflict of loyalties here as the struggle is played out against the borderline background. Good reading.

Publisher: Rinehart