Seven Days to Petrograd

Vernon Tom Hyman, Author, Tom Hyman, Author
Vernon Tom Hyman, Author, Tom Hyman, Author Viking Books $18.95 (412p) ISBN 978-0-670-80865-6
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
In a thriller that recalls Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal, Hyman dramatizes one of the great ""what if's'' of history, namely, what if Lenin had been assassinated aboard that famous ``sealed train'' that took him from Switzerland to Petrograd's Finland Station in 1917? Hard pressed on two military fronts, and with America about to enter the war, Germany makes a deal with Lenin: money and secret transportation to Petrograd in exchange for his promise to pull Russia out of the conflict. Churchill gets wind of the scheme and, with the support of Secretary of State House (though without the knowledge of President Wilson), hires an American secret agent, the tough and resourceful Bauer, to kill Lenin on the journey. Bauer boards the train disguised as a member of Lenin's revolutionary party and, in circumstances that become increasingly perilous after his cover is blown and he has fallen for the charms of a beautiful ``comrade,'' makes attempt after attempt to fulfill his assignment. Hyman (The Russian Woman, Giant Killer) doesn't quite display Forsyth's narrative flair, but his story is a clever mix of fact and fiction, and propulsively suspenseful. 35,000 first printing. (February)
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