Secret Houses

John E. Gardner, Author Putnam Publishing Group $18.95 (399p) ISBN 978-0-399-13311-4
It might make a great movie, this sequel to The Secret Generations by the author of six bestselling James Bond stories, yet its baffling plot complexity and absence of sustained action or literary grace notes make it somewhat less than a thrilling read, except perhaps for jigsaw puzzle mavens. Set between the end of World War II and the beginnings of the Cold War, though looking back over the entire war period, the story features two families, the English Railtons and the American Farthings. Tied by marriage and the work they do for their countries' secret services, they are deeply involved in a British government investigation of a French Resistance network that was betrayed to the Gestapo. The action shuttles between Orleans, London, Berlin and Washington; and the main characters include Caspar Railton, who had run the network; his younger brother, who may have defected to the NKVD; his two nieces, undercover agents who mysteriously disappear; and a CIA agent on loan to the British who finds himself the servant of two masters. (November 25)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 00/00/0000
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