Wars and Winters

Alfred Coppel, Jr., Author Dutton Books $21.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-55611-377-2
When middle-aged journalist Brian Lockwood receives an anonymous threatening note and a ceremonial Nazi dagger in the mail, he realizes that his past is coming back to haunt him in Coppel's ( A Land of Mirrors ) engaging thriller that offers interesting insights on life in post-communist East Germany. Adopted under mysterious circumstances by an American officer (``the Colonel'') at the end of WW II, Lockwood has long known that the Colonel's brother resented him--but could his uncle really have been sender of the ominous package? Lockwood takes advantage of an assignment for Der Zeit to return to eastern Germany in search of answers. He is aided by former members of the Stasi (the East German secret police), the Colonel's old friends and especially by the sexy young Anna Rykova, a woman of questionable motives who may be the granddaughter of Lockwood's childhood nurse, a member of the Stasi or a self-serving East German prostitute. After visiting the home of an elderly impoverished aristocratic couple, Lockwood learns two stunning secrets--about the dagger and also about his real father. Coppel spins a convincing intrigue, but the narrative is often sidetracked by his protagonist's lengthy philosophizing and reminiscences. Even so, this is a superior thriller by a master of the craft. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1993
Release date: 10/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
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