The Spandau Complication

Bob Orkand. Casemate, $22.95 (228p) ISBN 978-1-63624-026-8
Orkand (Misfire: The Tragic Failure of the M16 in Vietnam with Lyman Duryea) draws on his experiences as a U.S. Army officer stationed in a divided Berlin for his fiction debut, a low-energy, somewhat directionless military drama. In 1966, Maj. Harry Holbrook, the army’s public information officer in West Berlin, has a front row seat at several key events, including the defection of a Soviet fighter pilot who purposefully crashes his MIG into a West Berlin lake; the attempt by terrorists to kill dozens of military officers at a community fair; and the foiled effort by a Mossad agent to assassinate two Nazi war criminals upon their release from Spandau Prison after long sentences. When he’s not handling important army business, Holbrook courts the lovely Carolyn Mattersdorf, who teaches third graders at a school on the army base; pals around with foreign correspondents; and sends out the occasional press release. The action closes with Holbrook getting his wish—being reassigned to a combat position in Vietnam and shipping out. Most readers will likely pine for a firmer story line and some suspense. Military buffs may appreciate the glimpse into a slice of cold war life. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/02/2021
Release date: 10/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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