Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Resistance-Peter Steiner

The Resistance

Peter Steiner

Minotaur, Aug 21 2012, $26.99

ISBN: 9781250003713

In 1974, Secretary of State fires CIA espionage agent Louis Morgon after lecturing the field operative for incompetency and probably being a traitor. Stunned, Louis loses his wife and two children when they leave him as his spouse says he has become a withdrawn stranger to them. Despondent, he goes to France to live.

Morgon purchases a fixer-upper in Saint-Leon-sur-Dême. During the renovation he finds hidden documents and pistols tied to the French resistance in a crawl space under the floorboards. Believing a crime was committed during the Nazi occupation, Morgon brings the cache to his friend police officer Jean Renard. The gendarme feels personally affected as his father had the identical job as the letter writer under the Vichy puppet regime. Increasingly Morgon and Renard believe someone betrayed the resistance during WWII.

This is a superb Louis Morgon thriller (see L’Assassin and The Terrorist), which raises questions about war crimes, patriotism and survival when an occupied army controls your country. Ironically, Morgon plays less of a role than usual as he is more the second banana catalyst enabling readers to learn what happened in WWII France. Instead characters from the 1940s like Simon the Berlin Jewish French resistance leader, marvelous Marie and Nazis with hearts make this a winner as war is hell on everyone except fat cat chicken hawks.

Harriet Klausner

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