cover image Top Secret: A Clandestine Operations Novel

Top Secret: A Clandestine Operations Novel

W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV. Putnam, $28.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-399-17123-9

This mildly diverting first in a new thriller series from bestseller Griffin and son Butterworth charts the birth of the CIA in the fall of 1945. When 2nd Lt. James D. Cronley successfully secures a half ton of uranium oxide carried by a German U-boat that might have been sold to Soviet agents in Argentina, he’s promoted to captain by Harry Truman, awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, and given command of Operation Ost, which sneaks Nazis out of Germany into Argentina. Maj. Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, “the German intelligence officer who ran Abwehr Ost,” trades all the files and assets of his spy organization in return for protecting his men from the Soviet Union. Those readers expecting action will be disappointed as a host of characters make plans, read secret memos, and engage in interior monologues. Those who are happy with lots of interesting period history, dry humor, and clever scheming will be amply rewarded. Agent: Robert Youdelman, Rember & Curtis. (Aug.)