The Swiss Account

Paul Emil Erdman, Author
Paul Emil Erdman, Author Tor Books $21.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-85321-1
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Lengthy footnotes, wooden dialogue and plodding action hamper Erdman's (The Billion Dollar Sure Thing) latest financial thriller, set during WW II. In Switzerland, where some influential figures enjoy a less-than-neutral relationship with the Third Reich, the newly developing intelligence agencies of both the Allies and the Axis move freely. There novice U.S. spymaster Allen Dulles has established it back channel line to the White House, making him one of the most powerful Americans in the country. The lackluster plot follows a team of American operatives identified as the Swiss Account. The only drama involves the thwarted assassination of a high-ranking SS officer and a foray into Germany by a Dulles team (Swiss siblings Peter and Felicitas Burckhardt and American Nancy Reichman) for information that will allow the Allies to eliminate the Nazis' last hope of completing an atomic bomb. Erdman includes the painstaking details of his research at the expense of character and plot development and, thus, reader interest. (Nov.)