cover image The Wrong Man

The Wrong Man

David E. Fisher. Random House (NY), $22 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-679-40935-9

A thoroughly enjoyable read, replete with clever twists, turns and machinations, this chilling thriller has a timely scenario. Although the world thinks he has been killed by a car bomb, famed Nazi-hunter Walter Naman goes underground because high German officials have convinced him that the German chancellor is a secret Nazi (he's not) who must be assassinated during a visit to the U.S. Israeli Intelligence learns of the plot, but not the identity of the plotters or the assassin, and David Melnick, Mossad agent and hero of Fisher's Hostage One , is assigned to alert American authorities. Thwarted by William Hagan, a mid-rank defense department official who believes a resurgent Nazi Germany would benefit the defense contractors he serves, Melnick takes events into his own hands. With the help of Hagan's beautiful assistant and a disillusioned N.Y.C. police detective, Melnick discovers that Naman is alive and begins tracking him, all the time shadowed by another deadly killer whose mission is to make sure that Naman succeeds in the assassination--and then takes the fall. Fisher excels at creating palpable, recognizable characters--major and minor. From its taut, crosscutting beginning to the clever echoes of the book's title in the closing pages, this is a real page-turner. (Sept.)