Unquestionably this will sell and rent- as have all of the Lanny Budd novels, of which this is the ninth. What is their secret formula? Perhaps a salutary blend of adventure and recognizable contemporary history -- a sort of adult Superman in headlines. The time approaches- but slowly- the present. There's time for another and yet another volume at present rate, for this ends with Roosevelt's reelection in 1944. Lanny is still serving as P(residential) A(gent), though his welcome wears thin in Nazi Germany, and on his second entry- as of this telling- he is warned in time to make a hasty retreat. Pushed on his way by the thinly integrated Germany underground- against Hitler, he is caught midstream, and forced to make the rest of the way on his wits, until he gets over the Italian line. His assignments- now from Washington, now, presumably, from Hitler's eyrie -- take him into Italy, Paris, Spain, and of course Germany where he poses as friend and intimate of top Nazis. The excursion into Palestine seems artificially superimposed, not of a piece with the rest of the story. The advance guard project in Southern France brought him in touch with old friends, some turned collaborators. Finally, he is chosen as expert assigned to both the museum crew and those seeking out scientific information (he is now an expert on jet propulsion)- so the shadow of volume ten takes form...Not quite so fast going a yarn, it lags often, seems repetitive. But again Lanny has a finger in many pies- an advisor on military and political moves, and again the fact-cum-fiction blend is palatably dished out.