The Eagle Has Landed

Title:                  The Eagle Has Landed

Author:                 Jack Higgins

Higgins, Jack (1975). The Eagle Has Landed. London: Collins

LCCN:    75331664

PZ4.H6367 Eag


Date Posted:      April 9, 2015

The Eagle Has Landed is a book by Jack Higgins set during World War II. It first published in 1975. It was made into a film of the same name in 1976 starring Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Jenny Agutter and Robert Duvall. The plot has similarities with that of Went the Day Well?, a film made during World War II.

As of mid-2010, it had sold over 50 million copies.

The book makes use of the false document technique, and opens with Higgins describing his discovery of the concealed grave of thirteen German paratroopers in an English graveyard. What follows was inspired by the real life rescue of Hitler’s ally Benito Mussolini by Otto Skorzeny. A similar idea is considered by Hitler, with the strong support of Himmler. Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Abwehr (German military intelligence), is ordered to make a feasibility study of the seemingly impossible task of capturing British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and bringing him to the Reich.

Canaris realizes that although Hitler will soon forget the matter, Himmler will not. Fearing Himmler may try to discredit him, Canaris orders one of his officers, Oberst Radl to undertake the study, despite feeling that it is all just a waste of time and effort.

An Unteroffizier on Radl’s staff finds that one of their spies, code named Starling, has provided a tantalizing piece of intelligence. “At any other time, in any other place, this information would be useless”, Radl said. “And then synchronicity rears its disturbing head.” Winston Churchill is scheduled to spend a relaxing weekend at a country house near the village of Studley Constable, Norfolk. There Joanna Grey, an Afrikaner woman and longtime Abwehr agent, lives. She detests England because she was abused and raped by British soldiers, and her husband, daughter, and parents were killed during the Anglo-Boer War. As a result of her reports, Radl devises a detailed plan to intercept Churchill and return with him to Germany. Although Radl is certain the plan has real possibilities, Admiral Canaris orders him to abandon it.

Himmler, however, has already learned of the scheme and summons Radl. He orders him to proceed, but without notifying Canaris. In response, Radl arranges for Liam Devlin, a member of the Irish Republican Army, to be smuggled to Norfolk by way of Northern Ireland. Posing as a wounded veteran of the British Army, he contacts Mrs. Grey, who arranges a position for him as game warden to the estate of Studley Grange. While awaiting further developments, Devlin becomes romantically involved with Molly Prior, a girl from the village.

Meanwhile, Radl selects of a team of commandos to carry out the operation, led by a disgraced Fallschirmjäger commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Steiner. While returning from the Eastern Front, Steiner had intervened when SS soldiers were rounding up Jews at a railway station in Poland. To the outrage of the SS and Polizei, he took one of their men hostage and helped a teenage Jewess to escape on a passing freight train. For this he was court-martialled, along with his men, who backed his actions. Too highly decorated to face a firing squad, Steiner and his men were allowed to transfer to a penal unit in the Channel Islands. There they are forced to make high-risk attacks with manned torpedoes against Allied ships in the English Channel.

Radl travels to Alderney and recruits Steiner and his surviving men. Steiner’s father, General Steiner, is being tortured by the Gestapo for his alleged ties to the German Resistance. This serves as an additional incentive for the Colonel to accept the mission. Radl relocates Steiner and his men to an airfield on the north western coast of Holland, where they familiarize themselves with the British weapons and equipment they will be using. The team will be air dropped into Norfolk via a captured C-47 Dakota with Allied markings. The commandos outfit themselves as Free Polish troops, as few of them speak English; the plan is to infiltrate Studley Constable, capture Churchill, rendezvous with an E-boat at the nearby coast and make their escape.

At first, the plan seems to go off without a hitch. Then, however, one of Steiner’s NCOs rescues a young girl who fell into a mill race. He is killed by the water wheel and his German uniform (worn, by Himmler’s order, under the Polish uniforms, as protection against being executed as spies) is seen by several of the villagers. Determined to continue the mission, Steiner arranges for the locals to be rounded up, but the sister of Father Vereker, the local priest, escapes and alerts a nearby unit of US Army Rangers. Colonel Robert Shafto, an inexperienced but glory-seeking officer, rallies his forces to retake the hostages. Without notifying headquarters, he orders a foolhardy assault in which many Americans are killed. After the Colonel is shot in the head by Mrs. Grey, Major Kane organizes a second, successful attack.

Steiner, his second-in-command Ritter von Neumann, and Devlin manage to escape with the aid of a local girl, Molly Prior, who had become romantically involved with the Irishman. Determined to finish the mission, Steiner allows Devlin and Neumann to escape without him and decides to make one last attempt at Churchill. He succeeds in reaching Churchill, but hesitates, is shot and supposedly killed. (However, Steiner reappears alive in The Eagle Has Flown, a sequel.) In Germany, Radl has had a heart attack, implied to be fatal, although at about the same time, Himmler, upon discovering that the mission has failed, orders Radl’s arrest for high treason.

As in many novels of Higgins, this story is surrounded by a “frame story” with a prologue and epilogue. The author, while doing historical research in Norfolk, supposedly meets various surviving characters. Some paperback editions have more historical backstory than others, including a meeting with an older Liam Devlin[1] in a Belfast hotel. The final revelation comes from an aged and terminally ill Father Vereker: “Churchill” had been an impersonator and even if the mission had succeeded, it would not have mattered.

This book was condensed in Readers’ Digest Condensed Books (1975, Vol. 105, Winter)

[1] Devlin appears in several futureHiggins’ novels, being turned and becoming an agent for British intelligence.


Title:                      McCarthyism

Author:                  Albert Fried

Fried, Albert (1997). McCarthyism: The Great American Red Scare—A Documentary History. New York: Oxford University Press

LOC:       96007280

E743.5 .F668 1997

Date Posted:      June 22, 2013

Drawing upon a rich selection of documents, this book provides a detailed account of McCarthyism, a period which spanned from the late 1940s to the mid 1960s. It discusses the turbulent years during which Americans were routinely persecuted because they were suspected of being insufficiently patriotic or too sympathetic to the Soviet Union. The persecution took various forms, from imprisonment to the purging and blacklisting of untold thousands. Fried demonstrates how the end result was to consign the American radical left to irrelevancy, helping to ensure that already established policies, both foreign and domestic, would remain unchallenged. Fried provides informative introductions and headnotes for each section, as well as a useful bibliography. Through speeches, executives orders, congressional hearings, court decisions, official reports, letters, memoirs, and essays, this text offers the most sweeping and comprehensive look at McCarthyism, highlighting the cruelty, poignancy, and absurdity of this extraordinary period of time. Documenting both the persecuted and the persecutors, this is the definitive reader and core text for courses on McCarthyism, and an ideal supplement for courses on American history and political science.


War In The Woods

Title:                      War In The Woods

Author:                   Mart Laar

Laar, Mart (1992). War In The Woods: Estonia’s Struggle for Survival, 1944-1956. Washington, DC: Compass Press

LOC:       92014355

DK503.75 .L3413 1992

Date Posted:      June 21, 2013

With the Soviet reoccupation after World War II, Estonians faced a choice of submitting to Communist puppets or trying to survive in the traditional refuge of their forests while waiting for help from the West which never came. Those who chose the second course, Estonia’s “Forest Brothers,” mounted an armed resistance which, for more than a decade, seriously challenged Soviet rule. This is their story, told for the first time by sources within Estonia. This account is drawn from interviews with Forest Brothers who survived and relatives of those who died, and from documents and photographs from Soviet KGB files. It reflects Estonian courage and humor, the faith and sacrifice of a people suppressed, and the indomitable determination of a free nation to regain independence.

The war enlarged to involve all the Baltic States and was known as the “Baltic Forest War.” It was characterized by guerilla warfare in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which had been occupied by the Soviet Union, lasting from World War II until the 1960s.

Who Killed Joe McCarthy?

Title:                      Who Killed Joe McCarthy?

Author:                  William Bragg Ewald, Jr.

Ewald, William Bragg Jr. (1984). Who Killed Joe McCarthy? New York: Simon and Schuster

LOC:       83020307

UB23 .E93 1984

Date Posted:      June 21, 2013

William Bragg Ewald, Jr.served a member of the White House Staff and as assistant secretary to Secretary of the Interior, Fred A Seaton. He went with Eisenhower to Gettysburg and assisted on his two volumes of White House memoirs. Ewald has a doctorate from Harvard University, however from the book one would never conclude he is an academic. This book does not have one single footnote. At the end of the book, the author does list numerous documents and books used in preparing his book but citations to substantiate claims are nonexistent. By and large the book merely reprises familiar tales that Senator McCarthy did this and Senator McCarthy did that and provides nothing of substantial and verifiable quality.

If you hate McCarthy and want to read stories about him, there are better books. If you love McCarthy and want to read stories of him exposing Communists and security and loyalty risks, there are far better books to read. This book is certainly not a source to use for scholarly purposes.


Title:                      McCarthy

Author:                   Roy Cohn

Cohn, Roy (1968). McCarthy. New York: New American Library, Inc.

LOC:       68023035

E748.M143 C6

Date Posted:      June 19, 2013

Roy Cohn was the key attorney in the Joe McCarthy anti-communism hearings, a Justice Department attorney, and prosecutor of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In this book he agrees with many others that McCarthy was a demagogue,a liar and a short tempered person who was irritated by anyone who did not agree with him. He says that the Senator was on a crusade to alert the country to the dangers of communist subversion. This was at a time when the “communist issue” had receded into insignificance. After all the sound and fury of the McCarthy campaign to save the world Cohn is unable to show anything positive that was accomplished. Thousands of hours of work and millions of dollars were wasted on dealing with the cruel and baseless accusations of the Senator. McCarthy also made it difficult to have a realistic discussion of many foreign policy issues.

Cohn says many things that are such distortions of facts that they might also be called lies. Cohn must have known , for example, that Owen Lattimore was not a “conscious, articulate instrument of the Soviet conspiracy”. In other parts of the book Cohen tries to explain his own bad behavior in the McCarthy mess.

Perhaps the book can be called an apology for McCarthy but it seems to be more of a condemnation than anything else.

Cohn clearly exhibited severe anti-gay behavior:

  • Cohn and McCarthy pursued and blacklisted homosexuals as an integral part of their crusade.
  • In the hearings, the two complained many times of “queers” in the government and “powder puff diplomacy,” leading to a subcommittee report on the “Employment of Homosexuals and Other Sex Perverts in Government.”

Roy Cohn never admitted to being gay, but authors of LGBT histories–based on the accounts of Cohn’s friends and peers–conclude there is “no doubt” about his homosexuality. Cohn died of a heart attack related to “underlying HTLV-3 infections,” or complications from AIDS.


Title:                      CyberNation

Author:                  Steve Perry

Perry, Steve (2001). Tom Clancy’s Net Force: CyberNation. New York: Berkley Books

LCCN:    2002553762

PS3553.L245 C9 2001

Date Updated:  March 7, 2017

This series follows Net Force, a division of the FBI set up to deal with net crimes in 2010. CyberNation deals with a group trying to form a nation based completely on the net. Their main goal throughout the book is to get more people to sign up with them, so that they have the numbers to get the attention of current nations. To get people to join, they disrupt the internet, in a not very legal way, and so Net Force is called in. The rest of the book is Net Force trying to catch the hackers doing the disruptions.

In the year 2010, computers are the new superpowers. Those who control them control the world. To enforce the Net Laws, Congress creates the ultimate computer security agency within the FBP the Net Force.

When web service is disrupted across the world, a new nation makes its presence known. Terrorists from a virtual country called CyberNation have taken the web hostage. Their demands: worldwide recognition and rights for their “citizens.” Though there are millions of CyberNation sympathizers, Net Force rallies its troops for an all-out war on three fronts — politically, physically, and electronically — because dealing with terrorists is never an option.

In general this series has a very well thought out description of what needs to be done to protect and police the net. Having said that, I have noticed that the Net Force books have been going downhill, and this one continues that trend. A lot of time is spent on character development, but no development actually comes out of it. For example, we see Jay Gridley question his upcoming marriage. But in the end, the final decision has nothing to do with the pages of inner questioning that he goes through. Then there is the introduction of new ‘toys’ for the military that never show up again. Add to that the fact that every other scene leads to sex, and that there is almost no technology description, this book is only a shadow of Clancy’s work.

To me, this series has become a soap opera, with most of the time spent on generic character development and sex, and very little time spent on the action and descriptions that brought me to Clancy in the first place.


McCarthy and His Enemies

Title:                      McCarthy and His Enemies

Author:                  William F. Buckley, Jr,

Buckley, William F. Jr. (1954) and L. Brent Bozell. McCarthy and His Enemies: The Record and its Meaning. Chicago: Regnery

LOC:       54006342

E748.M143 B8

Date Posted:      June 17, 2013

This review, “What the McCarthy Method Seeks to Establish,” by William S. Whites is from the New York Times.[1] I have made some editorial changes to update a 60-year-old review.

This is the most extraordinary book yet to come forth [in 1954] in the harsh bibliography, pro and con, of “McCarthyism.” Measured as a literary and polemical effort it is the most striking.

The authors are William F. Buckley Jr.—who achieved a certain prominence with his only other book, God and Man at Yale—and his brother-in-law, L. Brent Bozell, who is a lawyer and has never written a book before. One assumes that Mr. Buckley led this team. They have written their book not as reporters who have followed the blow-by-blow contests, but rather as “historians” who have studied the “historical” documents. One may legitimately doubt their objective approach, however; the authors have consulted with Senator McCarthy, but it is not known that they have consulted with General Marshall or any of the other “enemies” of the title.

Here, at any rate, is proof that it is the young who are infinitely more deadly—in purpose at least—of the species. Essentially what they have attempted is a defense both of Senator McCarthy and “McCarthyism” and an argument, well written in the English language as it is, that will rather stagger those to whom that language has long expressed certain concepts of fair play which Messrs. Buckley and Bozell seem to think either out of date or not viable in a world of great peril. They wish to make that kind of “security” that would astonish and worry traditional Conservatives.

For the kind of “security” here proposed would, in the end, and by its own definition, result in enormous insecurity for every sort of person whose notions might run counter to the youthful Buckley-Bozell political dogmas. The authentic old New Hampshire Republican, Gen. Conrad Snow, and the late isolationist, far right-wing Republican, Seth W. Richardson, who in their times headed, respectively, the State Department and the all-Federal loyalty boards—neither of these, for example, could longer be accepted for public service.

For this sort of man, though of course in no way charged with disloyalty, had in the Buckley-Bozell view an intolerable capacity to make mistakes. Mistakes, in this book, are not tolerable when made by non-McCarthyites. When made by McCarthyites, however, and especially by Mr. McCarthy himself, they call only for a gentle chiding. We are, of course, none of us perfect; and after all, we must forget the end in view—this sort of thing.

The book is divided into three parts. Part One is an attempt to describe how the State Department handled its security between 1945 and 1950. The authors claim that before McCarthy entered the investigative picture, few security risks were weeded out; that after his Wheeling, W. Va., speech, security improved.

Accepting the major premise on which they are writing—that is, for a so-called hard security program—security did indeed improve after those speeches. The difficulty in evaluating the results of this course, however, is one of the fundamental difficulties raised by the whole spirit of the book—namely what price this sort of “hard” security?

Part Two of the book goes over the cases that were involved in the Tydings Investigation.

The inquiry into these cases is not uncritical, but is based on the assumption that not all of these cases needed to be valid to justify the alarms raised by Senator McCarthy. The point urged, in short, was that these alarms were good in themselves and that Mr. McCarthy became a national figure by raising them.

Part Three of the book attempts to prove that “while damage to a reputation may result from McCarthy’s practice of this method, the result would not appear to be part of the method.”

Again the point urged is that the method is not of primary importance so long as it requires, as the authors have found that McCarthy’s first attack on the State Department required, a new and “stern” look by the loyalty-security people themselves.

In each instance what is urged is not only that the end justifies the means, but that a moral end justifies immoral means. “The will to morality,” Nietzsche said, “is absolute immorality.” Weed out—even if the good are weeded out with the evil! Sound the alarm—even if the innocent are intimidated with the corrupt! Use any methods—so long as the security people are forced into a “harder” attitude. That is what it amounts to, and it is not an exaggeration to say that these authors are proposing the acceptance of a standard by which anti-communism would be defined at last by the degree of willingness to proceed in an authoritarian manner.

They find all Federal security program to date far too soft. We must “do away with the formal hearing” for the accused bureaucrat. We must cease making “distinctions” between employees who are undesirable for security or loyalty reasons and employees undesirable for other reasons. “The State Department ought to dismiss the security risk and the ‘policy misfit’ the same way it dismisses an employee who is habitually late for work. And for public consumption the department ought to have a stock phrase covering all separations … The risk should be thrown into a common channel with all other employees about to leave the department for sundry reasons.”

Why? Well, “Conscientious security personnel are more likely to execute a hard security program if everything has been done to lighten the consequences for the separated employee. They feel less tempted to indulge the ‘presumption of innocence’ if they are no longer forced to adjudicate ‘guilt’; and if the public has no longer a reason to regard separation from a sensitive agency as evidence of such an adjudication. On the other hand, the plight of the separated employee is indeed mitigated.”

How many men, being “habitually late to work,” would feel that the position had been “mitigated” by being put into this “common channel” under “a stock phrase covering all separations”? And what about the conscientious security men who no longer have to indulge in a “presumption of innocence” along with no longer having to indulge in the presumption that a man is innocent until he is judged guilty?

Messrs. Buckley and Bozell find applaud the fact that Mr. McCarthy and his followers are seeking to impose what they call a certain “conformity” of thought that, for the time is only directed against “Communist ideas.” (They mention “England’s conformity to parliamentarianism,” by the way, to suggest that enforced conformity is not necessarily a bad thing. There is no suggestion that this equation is intended to be ironic, though parliamentarianism arose precisely in protest to a conformity of thought that gave altogether too much power to a British Royal House.)

At all events, they say that “it is still only Communist ideas that are beyond the pale,” then add: “Some day the patience of America may at last be exhausted and we will strike out against Liberals.” The Liberals, the authors say, are not treacherous like Communists. But they have to be reduced to political impotence because they make mistakes. Senator McCarthy makes mistakes—the authors say so. In the detailed section on the original “cases” before the old Tydings Committee, they criticize Senator McCarthy in some of these cases. Indeed, they find that “some of his specific charges were exaggerated; a few had no apparent foundation whatever.” This judgment does not, however, tend to impeach Mr. McCarthy. The conclusion is that “the nation’s living shame” lies n the fact that the Tydings committee found his accusations “a fraud and a hoax.” For, say Messrs., Buckley and Bozell, the McCarthy campaign forced the State Department to “take a new hard look” at some of the McCarthy “cases” and the upshot was the “separation” of 29 per cent of them through “loyalty or security channels,” because earlier evaluations had not been “stern enough.”

That is, the book’s verdict here is that it is permissible, and even singularly useful, to make attacks against the foreign office of a great anti-Communist power that are “exaggerated” or in some cases actually false if the end result is to cause the dismissal of slightly more than a quarter of those accused.

Thinking along these lines, the authors take up General Marshall. They concede he is no treacherous Communist, and so they give this handsome vindication to the General of the Army and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the recent presentation of which was made disorderly by Communist hoodlums in Oslo:

“Marshall’s loyalty is not doubted in any reasonable quarter. On the other hand, Marshall no longer rides as high as he once did in the esteem of his countrymen … To the extent that McCarthy, through his careful analysis of Marshall’s record, has contributed to cutting Marshall down to size he has performed a valuable service … As regards his imputation of treasonable motives to Marshall, McCarthy deserves to be criticized even if Marshall’s general reputation for loyalty did not suffer. McCarthy’s judgment here was bad.”

General Marshall has been assailed by men with a larger audience than that of Messrs. Buckley and Bozell. One hazard, however, is that not before this has he been patronized from such quarters as these.

So, in sum, what have we here? We have a bald, dedicated apologia for “McCarthyism” made far more adroitly than Senator McCarthy himself could make it, that may well serve to clarify this issue. For the authors, enemies of the enemies of Mr. McCarthy, may have, ironically, done the Senator a disservice. McCarthyism is now on the record for all to see. They have “frozen” McCarthyism on their pages, which is an event that the instinctively fast-moving Senator may one day regret.

[1] The review appeard April 4, 1954. Mr. White reported on Senator McCarthy and his committee as a member of The Times Washington bureau. He is the author of the book, The Taft Story.

Joe McCarthy and the Press

Title:                      Joe McCarthy and the Press

Author:                  Edwin R. Bayley

Bayley, Edwin R (1982). Joe McCarthy and the Press. New York: Pantheon Books

LOC:       82047948

E748.M43 B38 1982

Date Posted:      June 15, 2013

This review is based on a KIRKUS REVIEW

Did the press make Joe McCarthy, as often alleged? To the extent that they allowed themselves to be manipulated by him, Bayley concludes, especially in the crucial month after the Wheeling 205-Communists-in-the-State-Department speech.

This is an exacting, bell-ringing study of the interface between journalism and politics—by an expert witness: Bayley, now dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Berkeley [died, 2002], was a political reporter for the (uncowed) Milwaukee Journal during the Wisconsin senator’s heyday; he also comes, like McCarthy, from Appleton (in a footnote, he recalls teasing McCarthy—a “hick,” in bib overalls—as a boy: “He’d lunge at us and we’d run”).

So the opening chapter, “When It All Started,” sounds all sorts of pertinent themes—including what McCarthy and his constituency absorbed from the local press (notably, the “antimilitarism and isolationism” of the Chicago Tribune and Appleton dally) and what he learned of its “practical workings” from early newspaperman-buddies. Here, too, Bayley first suggests that McCarthy was not really serious (in one way or another, he said as much), merely a compulsive attention-getter.

But the backbone of the book is Bayley’s close examination of how the press covered McCarthy nationally day-by-day—amplified by his own understanding of why. After the Wheeling speech, McCarthy switched figures (205, 207, 4, 57, 81) and threw out charges with confusing speed and imprecision; a few editors grew suspicious and took up the fight against him; most papers and especially the wire services—flummoxed, but sensitive to the “Communist” issue and respectful of a US senator—simply reported what he was saying, often going further than he did (particularly in the headlines) to make the mysterious allegations into hard news.

“Objectivity” was not to blame, says Bayley, then or later: at the outset, no one asked to see the (nonexistent) list of Communists; later, McCarthy learned how to exploit press deadlines so that rebuttals were always offset by new charges—and to exploit the wire services’ inability to hold up a story for verification. But opposition to him was not futile: in a detailed analysis of his 1952 race for reelection, Bayley demonstrates that he did suffer in those parts of Wisconsin where the local papers opposed him. And, nationally, his support endured longest in the Western hinterlands—where his doings were least reported altogether. With attention also to McCarthy and TV (and a last, startling Bayley anecdote about an aborted McCarthy about-face), an important study of the press under duress—its limitations and capabilities and potential today.

The Loyalty of Free Men

Title:                      The Loyalty of Free Men

Author:                  Alan Barth

Barth, Alan (1951). The Loyalty of Free Men. New York, Viking Press

LOC:       51009093

JC328 .B3

Date Posted:      June 14, 2013

This review is based on a KIRKUS REVIEW

The author, an editorial writer on the Washington Post, presents a plea for speech not silence, caution not panic, free and unlimited discussion not repression, in these days of attacks on national liberty in which loyalty is mistaken for orthodoxy and rigid conformity. He shows how, in the cult of loyalty, the hunt for heresy has developed and substantiates his thesis by an examination of the investigations of the Committee on Un-American Activities, the debits (and credits) of the F.B.I., the Federal Employee- Loyalty Program, the techniques of publicity punishment and character assassination, the lines of procedure in the Coplon, Chambers-Hiss and other cases, the witch hunting brought about by the threat of the CPUSA, the secrecy in scientific circles, the dangers to academic freedom, and stresses the piecemeal encroachments on personal freedom all of these are breeding.

An argument for the eternal vigilance that is the price of liberty, this discussion is based on Constitutional principles, long upheld by jurists, and quotes from the records for its proof, and makes a clear case against the vitiation of national security through distrust, negativism, and the disregard of procedural safeguards. A thinking book well worth reading, and highly appropriate to thinking about the McCarthy Era.

Cold Harbour

Title:                  Cold Harbour

Author:                Jack Higgins

Higgins, Jack (1990). Cold Harbour. New York: Simon and Schuster

LCCN:    89026198

PR6058.I343 C58 1990


Date Updated:  April 10, 2015

Publishers’ Weekly says, In his latest [1989] thriller, Higgins (The Eagle Has Landed ) returns to familiar territory with nothing very new to offer. As D-day approaches in Europe, the Allied command learns of a German staff conference to be held in Brittany at the Chateau de Voincourt, where the Nazis will discuss their Atlantic Wall defense strategy. Foreknowledge of these plans could mean the difference between success and failure for the Allied invasion, and as luck would have it, the chateau happens to be the home of an undercover French Resistance agent, beautiful Anne-Marie Trevaunce, so there is every chance that the good guys will succeed in stealing them. When Anne-Marie is incapacitated, luck comes to the fore once again: she just happens to have an identical twin sister living in England who is persuaded to take her place. Fortuitous turns are the norm in this improbable story, as cardboard heroes pull off miraculous rescues, double agents lurk everywhere and villains in uniform serve on both sides of the conflict. The author’s reputation for entertaining thrillers will not be enhanced by this effort.