Daddy

Loup Durand, Author Villard Books $18.95 (374p) ISBN 978-0-394-57048-8
With superb plotting, mesmerizing characters and brilliant chase scenes, Daddy will enthrall connossieurs of suspense and intrigue from its opening sentences to the emotionally charged denouement. At the heart of this taut, psychological, action-packed thriller set in the early 1940s is Thomas, an exceptional 11-year-old boy whose mind, a well-oiled, precise ``machine,'' contains the complicated codes to 724 secret Swiss bank accounts, a fortune the Nazis have been trying to get at for many years. Their operative is a 46-year-old professor of philosophy, reputed to be the most intelligent man in the Third Reich. Like two chess grand masters, the hunter and his quarry ingeniously outmaneuver each other, each understanding the superior intelligence of his opponent and able to anticipate the other's moves several steps in advance. The drama is heightened by the boy's intense relationships with his beautiful and elusive mother, who trained him for his mission, and with his almost-invisible Spanish bodyguards and a network of supporters from France, Switzerland and Spain set up by her in advance. Particularly poignant is Thomas's relationship with a well-connected American banker who did not know of the boy's existence until asked by the woman he once loved to endanger his own life to save his son's. As sensitive as he is intelligent, Thomas guards against attachment to the man who is his father: too many people he has loved have been savagely murdered by the Nazis. Durand has written several French bestsellers under a pseudonym; Daddy , the first work published in the U.S. under his real name, was a leading bestseller in France. Considering the mastery he displays in this popular genre, readers will anxiously await more. Dual main selection of the Literary Guild; Reader's Digest Condensed Book Selection; optioned to Columbia Pictures. $225,000 paperback floor. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Hardcover - 553 pages - 978-0-8161-4862-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-35917-7
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