cover image The Runner

The Runner

Christopher Reich. Random House Audio Publishing Group, $26.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-52690-5

Shortly after the end of the second world war, Erich Seyss, a member of Hitler's SS who's also a Nazi Olympic runner, escapes an Allied POW camp to embark on one last strike for Germany. The protagonist, Devlin Judge, is an American lawyer who's in Europe to participate in the International War Tribunal. He takes up Seyss's trail after learning that the Nazi was responsible for many crimes against humanity, including the wholesale slaughter of an unarmed group of American soldiers, one of whom was Judge's brother. In a race against time, Reich leads readers on a wild and unpredictable ride as what seemed a typical game of cat and mouse churns into a tangle of paranoia, conspiracies and unexpected plot twists. Lang's crisp, energetic reading leads the listener through the despairing rubble of postwar Europe at a breakneck speed. Particularly interesting are his evocations of several bilingual characters, whose subtle vocal characteristics remain recognizable regardless of the accent they are using. Based on the Delacorte hardcover (Forecasts, Mar. 6). (Apr.)