The Fatherland Files

Alan N. Clifford, Author, Clifford, Author
Alan N. Clifford, Author, Clifford, Author AK Peters $22 (288p) ISBN 978-1-56881-034-8
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It will be a shame if booksellers turn away from Clifford's first novel because its unfortunate title mimics that of Robert Harris's bestselling thriller or because it comes from a publisher that specializes in science and technology. The fact is that this very competent and effective thriller about a Nazi legacy can stand on its own. Peter Goodman is an American cardiologist invited to Germany to learn about a breakthrough anti-arrhythmia drug. Despite the enthusiasm and high hopes of Peter Werner, his host, Goodman quickly notes that the upper management of Frankfurt Pharmaceutica, developer of the drug, seems reluctant to push forward with it or even to adequately test its potential. Meanwhile, Israeli intelligence, having gotten wind of a Libyan chemical-weapons project, dispatches neuropharmacologist Dan Tamir to Germany to track down the source of the technology. After Werner dies in a suspicious car crash, Goodman is convinced by the deceased's sister-in-law to remain in Frankfurt and investigate the death. The pair begin to uncover a pattern of deceit and horror stretching back to a WW II concentration camp, putting themselves and everyone they question in deadly danger. There's nothing particularly original in all this, but Clifford tells his tale briskly and uses his background in medical research to provide accurate scientific details. (June)
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