cover image The Secret of Spandau

The Secret of Spandau

Peter Lovesey. Severn, $29.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8612-5

At the start of Lovesey’s gripping thriller, first published in 1986 under his Peter Lear alias, Rudolf Hess, the Deputy Führer of the Third Reich, parachutes into Scotland on a one-man peace mission on May 10, 1941. Flash forward to 1984, a few months after Hess turns 90 in West Berlin’s Spandau Prison, where he’s been serving a life sentence for war crimes since 1947. A team of British journalists are looking into the truth behind his defection; their editor believes that their own government may have hidden reasons for insisting on Hess’s continued incarceration. The reporters, including deputy sports editor Dick Garrick, get wind of a scandal that would totally revise public perceptions of Great Britain’s posture during WWII—that British officials conducted secret peace initiatives with the Nazis early in the war. Garrick and the others pursue this theory at their peril. Lovesey (Another One Goes Tonight and 15 other Peter Diamond mysteries) does a good job suspending disbelief while he keeps the pages turning. [em]Agent: Jane Gelfman, Gelfman Schneider. (July) [/em]