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Vienna Spies Paperback – March 30, 2017
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British master spy, Edgar, is tasked with inserting the team of Rolf, who we know as an able lower-level operative from a previous novel, and Katharina, a well-qualified nurse and a less-qualified field agent. They are to find the Soviet presence in the city and they are to find Hubert Leitner, an Austrian national hero who can sway the post-war politics either East or West. Frustrated or misplaced love is a major subplot, as in the earlier novels. Once again, it is made clear that normal human emotions are best suspended during field work in war time. Much of the tension and some of the betrayal in each of these novels hinges on the 'human' problem.
Pacing is taut for the most part, leaving the reader on the edge of their chairs.Characterization is deft and sufficient for the purpose. Colorful old ladies who are 'too nosy', nuns and priests who have been heroic but who have always to respond to their vows and their consciences, local shop keepers and such young men who have not been conscripted to fight the Russians...so on. The significance of the street-level propaganda war and of modest efforts at industrial sabotage are placed in an informative perspective. Maybe I should call this 'FIVE STARS.'