In 1945 Nuremberg, an American intelligence officer tracks a killer: “Powerful . . . Fans of WWII mystery fiction should consider this one mandatory reading” (Booklist).
Nuremberg is a dead city. In the aftermath of World War II, two-thirds of its population has fled or is deceased, with thirty thousand bodies turning the ruined industrial center into a massive open grave. Here, the vilest war criminals in history will be tried. But in Nuremberg’s dark streets and back alleys, chaos rules.
Captain Nathan Morgan is one of those charged with bringing order to the home of the war crime trials. A New York homicide detective who spent the war in Army intelligence, he was born to be a spy—and now, in 1945, there is no finer place for his trade than Nuremberg. As the US grapples with the Soviets for postwar supremacy, a serial murderer targets the occupying forces. Nathan Morgan may be the perfect spy, but it’s time for him to turn cop once more.
Jones (The Keeper of Hands and three other Viennese mysteries) stumbles with this serial-killer novel set on the eve of the Nuremberg war crime trials in November 1945. Capt. Nathan Morgan, an NYPD homicide detective, and Chief Insp. Werner Beck, a former German Kripo investigator redeemed from his prisoner-of-war status to work on the case, make a promising sleuthing pair. The plot, alas, doesn't live up to Jones's standards; nor does it do justice to the underlying idea. Every three days a man turns up dead with his throat slashed; the nationality of each victim differs from those of the previous victims. The killer leaves a scrap of a novel on each body as a clue. The action becomes rote once Morgan encounters American reporter Kate Wallace, his obvious future love interest, who's come to the city to cover the trial. A partial reveal of the killer's identity sacrifices surprise for suspense, while the stock scenes that follow fail to generate much tension.