The Missing Sixth

Mark Graham, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $22.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-15-160576-7
This intricate thriller by the author of The Harbinger opens with the theft of five art masterpieces from a villa near Cape Town. The real treasure, however, is not art but something presumably hidden in one canvas: a long-missing document detailing WW II crimes of several prominent Afrikaners active in the Broederbond, the nation's most powerful political organization. The search for the ``missing sixth'' soon involves Michael Meade, an American journalist and widower trying to resurrect his career in South Africa. He knows that various members of the Broederbond are eager to have the information for their own purposes, and that one of these, Gideon DeBruin, was responsible for Meade's father's death during the war. His desire for revenge is complicated by his growing attraction to DeBruin's daughter, Farrell. Aided by a pair of idealistic black journalists, Meade and Farrell wend their way through a maze of murder and deception, plots and counterplots until painstaking detective work leads them to Amsterdam and the truth about the missing papers. It takes a daring gamble upon their return to South Africa to see justice done. Close attention is required to keep track of all the developments, but the novel's unusual setting and memorable characters reward the effort. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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