Adopted just after World War II in Nuremberg under mysterious circumstances, Brian Lockwood receives a Nazi ceremonial dagger in the mail, an event that prompts him to embark on a perilous quest in search of his origins. 35,000 first printing. $30,000 ad/promo.
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A Nazi dagger in the mail lures a middle-aged Californian back to Germany, where he was adopted and where his recurring nightmares seem to be set--in a chilly post-reunion thriller by the author of A Land of Mirrors (1988), etc. The dagger in question, a particularly rare bit of SS regalia, has been seen before. It was among the souvenirs belonging to journalist Brian Lockwood's late adopted father, a career officer who played a mysterious role in the Nuremberg trials. The knife disappeared on a visit to the Lockwood house by Brian's louche Uncle Dean, a sticky-fingered dealer in art objects and antiques. Now here it is back again. Lockwood, recuperating from a mild heart attack and a divorce, knows that the return of the dagger has something to do with Uncle Dean, but does it also have something to do with the shadowy figures lurking around Brian's Monterey peninsular home? And is there a link to Brian's journalistic investigation into the activities of the Stasi, ex-East Germany's horrid secret police? There is an unsigned note from Uncle Dean packed with the knife. It urges Brian to follow the lead of the name on the hilt. Unpleasant things begin to happen to the people around Lockwood before he can even leave the neighborhood to begin his investigation. But he is not put off. He expects to find out not only whose knife he has, but why his adopted mother loathed him, why his father's career went off the rails, why his father adopted him in the first place, and who it is he dreams about when his sleep is disturbed by childhood terrors having to do with his abandonment in a German wetland. Sedate and rather agreeably gloomy in the old mid-century spy fashion. If only it weren't quite so predictable. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
When middle-aged journalist Brian Lockwood receives an anonymous threatening note and a ceremonial Nazi dagger in the mail, he realizes that his past is coming back to haunt him in Coppel's ( A Land of Mirrors ) engaging thriller that offers interesting insights on life in post-communist East Germany. Adopted under mysterious circumstances by an American officer ("the Colonel") at the end of WW II, Lockwood has long known that the Colonel's brother resented him--but could his uncle really have been sender of the ominous package? Lockwood takes advantage of an assignment for Der Zeit to return to eastern Germany in search of answers. He is aided by former members of the Stasi (the East German secret police), the Colonel's old friends and especially by the sexy young Anna Rykova, a woman of questionable motives who may be the granddaughter of Lockwood's childhood nurse, a member of the Stasi or a self-serving East German prostitute. After visiting the home of an elderly impoverished aristocratic couple, Lockwood learns two stunning secrets--about the dagger and also about his real father. Coppel spins a convincing intrigue, but the narrative is often sidetracked by his protagonist's lengthy philosophizing and reminiscences. Even so, this is a superior thriller by a master of the craft.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Donald Fine, 1993. hardcover. Book Condition: new. 1993 NY: Donald I. Fine First edition, first printing, new/unread in flawless dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # COPWARS11
Book Description Dutton Adult, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1556113773
Book Description Dutton, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111556113773