cover image Winter


Len Deighton. Alfred A. Knopf, $19.95 (571pp) ISBN 978-0-394-55177-7

Modern history and suspenseful fiction are here brilliantly combined by a master of both. The plot revolves around two brothers, sons of a wealthy Berlin banker and his American wife, whose conflicting destinies are the means by which Deighton (Blitzkrieg, The Ipcress File) tells the story of Germany from 1900 to the end of World War II. Peter Winter, who flies zeppelins in World War I, becomes a staunch anti-Nazi and then a colonel in the American Army; Paul, charming, ambitious and psychologically flawed, becomes a top legal adviser to the Nazi regime. They finally confront each other at Nuremberg. Though Paul is not entirely convincing as a basically ""nice'' Nazi, who has conscience enough to save his brother's Jewish wife yet gives spurious legal sanction to Hitler's atrocities without a qualm, both he and his brother are handy pegs on which Deighton hangs accurate, exciting and cleverly selected dollops of social, political and front-line military history, while highlighting the tensions between Prussian and Bavarian, Wehrmacht and SS that hastened the nation's rush toward suicide. 100,000 first printing; BOMC alternate. (January 5)