cover image Double Exposure

Double Exposure

Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. Grand Central, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5387-3136-9

Gough and Millar, the creators of TV’s Smallville, miss the mark in their cartoonish fiction debut. In December 1961, Korean War veteran David Toland, who’s now a film preservationist in Washington, D.C., is approached by attractive CIA agent Lana Welles, who tells him that the U.S. government needs his skills. When they reach CIA headquarters, he’s given a badly decayed and bullet-ridden reel of film, which he’s told was smuggled to the West by a KGB agent who became an American asset. Toland makes a viewable print and, after surviving an assassination attempt, arranges with a friend to use a movie theater to screen what he’s reconstructed. He’s stunned by film footage apparently showing Hitler killing a double whose corpse was left in his stead in the Fuehrer Bunker at the end of WWII. Toland and Welles team up for a globe-trotting search for Hitler, which takes them to Europe and beyond toward the predictable reveal. Emotionally underdeveloped characters undercut any chance of engagement with the over-the-top story line. Agent: Eric Simonoff, WME. (Mar.)