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29 April 2013

Jack Higgins: The Valhalla Exchange

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Jack Higgins can always be relied upon for an easy-reading action-filled adventure story. His tales set in WWII are renowned, especially "The Eagle has Landed" and "Night of the Fox".  While this book is not quite as good, it is still a great action adventure using authentic WWII backgrounds.

At the end of the war many top level Nazis had plans to escape from Germany to "friendly" countries, especially in South America. Rumours abounded that Martin Bormann, Hitler's powerful personal secretary, had made his escape and his whereabouts had always been a mystery.

The Valhalla Exchange is a fictional account of Bormann's plans for escape, using a group of highly connected POW's as protection. The WWII action is authentic with Higgins creating a memorable group of characters from both sides and the prisoners, especially Ritter a war-weary highly decorated SS Officer and one of the prisoners, General Hamilton Canning who pursues Bormann for thirty years after the war.

This book was written several years before DNA testing appeared to confirm that Bormann's remains had been found in Berlin - or were they?

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