cover image Basil’s War

Basil’s War

Stephen Hunter. Mysterious, $23.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-61316-224-8

British Army Capt. Basil St. Florian, the hero of this terrific WWII thriller from bestseller Hunter (the Bob Lee Swagger series), is known for his wit, his bravery as a Special Operations Executive agent, and as a man who enjoys dating film stars like Vivien Leigh. In the spring of 1943, Basil parachutes into Nazi-occupied France, steals some identity papers, and catches a train to Paris, where his mission is to photograph pages from The Path to Jesus, a rare 18th-century pamphlet written by a Scottish ecclesiastic held in the library of a Paris museum. Stealing the pamphlet would alert the enemy that the British know the Nazis are using it as the basis of a secret code. Deciphering the code is key to catching a traitor employed at Bletchley Park, the Allied code-breaking center in England. The Nazis figure out a British spy is among them, and a clever German counterintelligence agent is soon hot on Basil’s trail. Hunter adopts a breezy, boys’ adventure book style that complements Basil’s derring-do exploits. Readers will hope Basil will soon be back for more. (May)