February 11, 1983
Joachin von Niehauser is a former physicist, a wounded and decorated veteran of the Russian front and, since the deaths of his father and brothers, a baron. His is landed on the coast of Maine in 1944 with one desperate mission: get the Manhattan Project secrets from a Nazi mole in Los Alamos and get them back to Germany via Mexico. After von Niehauser's first murder in Maine, his trail his picked up by FBI agent George Havens. This is a taut, fast-paced story of a chase from New England to New Mexico to the Mexican border. Von Niehauser, Havens and Jenny Springer, a young army wife caught in a loveless affair, are the main characters, all of them disillusioned by the war and life. They are superbly drawn, as are even the minor characters. Despite some real humor, the atmosphere is bleak with each person trapped in a feeling of despair. The ending isn't happy, but the chief characters leave echoes. This is more than just another World War II thriller. It's good, solid fiction.