cover image Curtain of Death: A Clandestine Operations Novel

Curtain of Death: A Clandestine Operations Novel

W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV. Putnam, $29 (480p) ISBN 978-0-399-17673-9

Bestseller Griffin and son Butterworth’s odd decision to name a major character Claudette Colbert makes suspending disbelief even more of a challenge in their third Clandestine Operations novel (after 2014’s The Assassination Option). Their Claudette Colbert is a WAC technical sergeant stationed in Munich in 1946. When four men, believed to be Polish DPs, attempt to abduct her and a fellow WAC tech sergeant in a stolen ambulance, Claudette pulls a revolver out of her bra and shoots three of her assailants dead and mortally wounds the fourth. That improbable scene paves the way for a formulaic spy story that explores the repercussions of the attempted kidnapping as well as the implications of America’s denazification of German scientists after WWII. Authors such as James Michener and Joseph Kanon have explored with more depth the moral ambiguity of the U.S. government’s decision to turn a blind eye to war crimes in order to counter the Soviet threat. Agent: Robert Youdelman, Rember & Curtis. (Dec.)