cover image The Spymasters

The Spymasters

W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV. Putnam, $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-399-15751-6

Bestseller Griffin’s solid seventh Men at War novel (after 2007’s The Double Agents), the third in collaboration with son Butterworth, finds top OSS agent Maj. Richard Caniday involved in both a mission to keep Ike’s imminent plan to invade Sicily a secret and an attempt to sabotage the Nazi V-1 and V-2 program. Goebbels has broadcast that the “aerial torpedo” attacks will first target London, starting in December 1943. To make the situation even more ominous, the Germans are planning to load nerve gas into the missiles’ warheads, a move guaranteed to sow panic. Eschewing extended battle scenes and individual combat for the most part, the authors focus on spy missions behind enemy lines and recreations of meetings between historical characters. You can almost taste the gin and tonic as FDR and OSS chief William “Wild Bill” Donovan meet on the presidential yacht Sequoia to discuss plans for winning the war. Some readers might wish for more action, but series fans should be satisfied. (Aug.)