CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Van Rjndt, Philippe.

Don Mills (Ont.), Stoddart, c1984. 444pp, cloth, $18.95, ISBN 0-7737-2035-9. Distributed by General Publishing. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Ron Jaques

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

In the best tradition of Helen MacInnes, Ken Follett and Frederick Forsyth, Philippe Van Rjndt has written a gripping espionage thriller around a plan by Britain to ship its gold reserves to New York during World War II. In order to buy armaments necessary to fend off Hitler's imminent attack, Churchill and Roosevelt devise an operation, code-named "Prometheus," to effect the transfer of the gold. If it fails, then all is lost for Britain, for she will not be able to defend herself and her economy will collapse.

Skilfully mixing fact and fiction, Van Rjndt brings together a cast of characters from history (Churchill, Alien Dulles, Kirn Philby) and his imagination (Jonathan Cabot, McKenzie McConnell) in an elaborate plot that holds together nicely right to the last page. It is hard to tell where fact leaves off and fiction begins. A nice touch is the use of Philby as the confidant of one of the main characters. We keep waiting for him to betray her, but. . . . Even the villain, Guderian, is motivated by noble motives (saving lives on both sides) as he moves to intercept the gold; right to the end, Van Rjndt dangles the possibility that Guderian may be talked out of his mission. Well, why not? Everyone else seems to have switched sides at least once.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable, tightly constructed spy novel that keeps the reader guessing right to the last page and beyond. Recommended.

Ron Jaques, Bracebridge & Muskoka Lakes S.S., Bracebridge, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works