OPERATION RAVEN by Stuart White

OPERATION RAVEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Brisk thriller in the Harry Patterson mode about a Nazi plot in 1940 to assassinate Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret of Great Britain. Uwe Eilders is definitely not a pleasant chap: after murdering his father and disfiguring his wife, he accepts a commission from Nazi mastermind Reinhard Heydrich to deliver into German hands ""Lillibet"" and Margaret, the two darlings of the British royal family. Soon after Eilders slips into England, however, the Fuehrer cancels the plot, fearing that a royal kidnapping will provoke America into joining the war. Enraged, Eilders decides on his own to carry out the mission with one alteration: he will murder the princesses, a blood sacrifice for the glory of the Reich. Soon a thrilling chase is on, with Eilders garrotting victims right and left while running desperately not only from Scotland Yard but also from a German agent who--talk about shameless coincidence--is the former boyfriend of Eilders crippled wife. White stabilizes his rocketing plot with nifty details about wartime Britain (everyone lugged around a gas mask for years, which says much about the British character) and a keen sense of the difficulties faced by a German passing for a Englishman (mishearing ""bitter"" as ""bitte"" in a pub, for instance). The characters are believable (except for Eilders, but then villains sometimes work better as cartoons), the writing literate (which puts White way ahead of Patterson), the pace sizzling. Among recent WW II thrillers, one of the best.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Beaufort