cover image War of the Raven

War of the Raven

Andrew Kaplan. Simon & Schuster, $19.45 (383pp) ISBN 978-0-671-70758-3

By the time readers get through the first several chapters of this exciting thriller set in 1939 Argentina, they will wonder how Kaplan ( Scorpion ) is going to keep up the pace. By that point, there are several violent killings, a brutal live-sex show, plus more personal and romantic couplings, a wild car chase through the streets of Buenos Aires and enough cryptic references to past events to fill a dozen espionage novels. But Kaplan has a trick up his sleeve; his tale of an American spy trying desperately to uncover a Nazi secret that may change the course of WW II is just one of the stories he has to tell. Deftly dropping back some 75 years he unfolds--in regular flashbacks--an account of the mysterious man who was a dominant force in Argentinean history and whose personal vendetta still influences events years after his death. This story, in fact, is the true heart of the novel. In the end, revenge for a decades-old injustice, rather than the colliding forces of a war-torn world, leads to the horrifying conclusion of this smashing, sexy and unforgettable read. (Sept.)