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Higgin's doing what he does best!
on 29 May 2014
What is there to say about Jack Higgins? Probably the worlds best known thriller writer, and easily my favourite author. A number of years back I bought 'The Eagle has landed' in a book sale and never looked back. I immediately went and purchased his entire back catalogue. The only problem was that I never wanted to stop reading his novels so ended up rationing them out to make them last as long as I could.
Day of Judgement follows Simon Vaughan and is the 3rd book featuring the character (Amazon for some reason advertises that it has Paul Chavasse as the lead character, this isn't true and he doesn't even appear at all).
The scene is set in Germany during the cold war. Chavasse is a hired mercenary smuggling people through the checkpoints to freedom in the west. However things go wrong when he encounters a beautiful girl. When she asks to be returned to the East, Father Conlin agrees to take her. A Dachau prison camp survivor and champion of human rights he knows the stakes are high. The East despise men like him, if only they could capture and brainwash him for their own cause.
And so begins an action packed adventure. Higgins is always an expert at mingling fact with fiction and here he is no exception. Centred around President Kennedys trip to Berlin in 1963 we are allowed to imagine what would happen should the East persuade a Catholic priest of high standing to make anti American statements, advising that all his hard work smuggling people was for political gain rather than humanitarian reasons. Obviously if this coincided with Kennedys speech it would look to discredit the entire operation. A cat and mouse game ensues with the east trying to break Conlin and the West planning his abduction. We meet commando priests, undercover agents, rogues and even the Pope.
As always with Higgins expect plenty of action (I love the way the second bullet always smashes the targets spine) and more than enough twists to keep even a rollercoaster enthusiast happy. A well deserved 5 stars.