Saturday, August 17, 2013

Done: "Ratlines" by Stuart Neville

Done: Ratlines by Stuart Neville, 2013, 9781616952044.

Dang, this had all sorts of praise but I didn't enjoy all that much.  I think Neville's first two books are better.  I'm not sure if Neville's third book, Stolen Souls, is available in the U.S.  I sure zipped through Neville's first two.

Neville takes a couple historical facts, German Colonel Otto Skorzeny lived in Ireland after WWII and President Kennedy visited Ireland in 1963, and runs with them.  The book is good but I expected fireworks.  I have to stop paying attention to blurbs.

Anyway.  Irish Intelligence Servide dude Albert Ryan is asked to look into some murders.  This is not kind of work he does but Ireland has some recently murdered former nazis peppering the countryside.  The English hating Irish sentiments of WWII carried into a "the nazis were our English killing friends" post-war attitude.  With President Kennedy due to visit in a couple months the Irish government wants to no embarrassments or, even worse, a cancellation of Kennedy's visit.

Ryan is an anomaly though.  He headed north during the war and joined the Limey Army.  He served through WWII in Italy and North Africa and then fought in Korea.  He is brought to meet the nomitive head of the Irish nazis, Col. Otto Skorzeny.  If you've never heard of Skorzeny that's just fine because Neville explains the former German commandos wartime exploits and reputation.  Skorzeny is a dickhead (hey, he was a nazi) and Ryan does not like him.  The Irish Minister of Justice likes Skorzeny though and especially likes to lick Skorzeny's boots.

Ryan investigates and discovers a plot to extort money from Skorzeny.  Skorzeny has a line of lots of dough stored by the nazis in Switzerland.  The extortionists want the dough.  Ryan keeps on track.  Ryan meets Jewish Mossad guy.  Mossad guy threatens Ryan.  Skorzeny threatens Ryan.  Ryan and the girl sent to spy on him make lovey-dovey eyes on one another.  Skorzeny threatens Ryan's Spy Girl.  Ryan is tortured.  People are killed.  Ryan ends up on top and all the bad guys but Skorzeny are dead.

1.  The grammar and spelling correcter wants capitalize nazi.  Fuck that.
2.  I finished this several days ago and had more thoughts but have now forgotten them.
3.  I do recall an anachronism with someone holding a Glock pistol.
4.  I keep thinking Neville Shute, not Stuart Neville.

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