cover image A Double Deception

A Double Deception

Clive Egleton. St. Martin's Press, $18.95 (309pp) ISBN 978-0-312-07736-5

Tricks and treachery abound in Egleton's ( Last Act ) latest spy thriller, and if perceptive readers cotton to the chief deception a mite early, they won't mind--Egleton plays scrupulously fair and his plot just barrels along. As the story opens, in September 1939, aristocratic Andrew Korwin has arranged for his younger sister and brother to leave their Warsaw home before the Nazis march in. The brother is killed, sister Christina gets away and we last see Andrew trying to escape from a burning hospital. In 1967 Christina's American daughter, Stefanie, appears in London in search of her uncle. She enlists the aid of Campbell Parker of the Foreign Office, and clues point to Polish emigre Arthur Kershaw, successful manufacturer of a new laser-equipped gun. Other players include a seedy PI, a German con man, a newly released war criminal and even Simon Wiesenthal. People disappear and/or turn up dead, Stefanie and Campbell are in grave danger and their burgeoning affair is threatened by mutual distrust. (Why does Stefanie go to Vienna for a weekend, and why is she under official surveillance?) Not quite on the Eric Ambler level, this complicated tale will nevertheless consume WW II intrigue buffs. (July)