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Beautiful, vengeance-driven heroine (á la Sidney Sheldon) hunts and kills old Nazi war-criminals--in a workmanlike but surprisingly crude melodrama from espionage-veteran Allbeury, whose work is usually far more sophisticated and ambitious. Anna Woltmann, bright but mistreated daughter of cold, working-class Germans, finds bliss and security at last--when she escapes to 1970's Paris and marries wonderful, gentle Paul Simon, a Sorbonne lecturer. Then, however, the idyll shatters: Paul is killed by a letter-bomb; pregnant Anna is injured and miscarries. And, recuperating on the estate of dear Jewish father-in-law Pierre, Anna learns the truth about Paul's death. He secretly did top-level research for a Nazi-hunting bureau--and has been murdered by ODESSA, the fraternity of rich Nazis-in-hiding! Naturally, then, Anna sets out to assassinate ODESSA's four leading players. She receives a crash-training program in weaponry and one-on-one combat from ex-CIA man Hank Wallace (a widower who falls hard for the mystery-woman). Murder #1 in Chicago is a snap, thanks to Anna's seductiveness and her victim's lechery. Murder #2 in Amsterdam is a bit messier. Soon there are complications: ODESSA figures out Anna's identity, so victim #3 starts stalking her; meanwhile, nice Hank figures out what Anna's up to, comes to France to dissuade her. . .and winds up killing that Nazi stalker. And finally, though Anna returns Hank's love, she insists on carrying out murder #4 in Portugal--where some scenic mayhem ensues before the limp fade-out. Sturdy vengeance-action, mildly agreeable soap-with-sex, but no surprises or genuine suspense: a derivative, professional throwaway job by a writer working at (to be generous) half-throttle.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1988
Publisher: Mysterious Press--dist. by Ballantine