Ace secret agent Johnny Fedora has an assignment that he would really pass on. He must track down a former Nazi whose identity he has no idea of, find a cache of stolen diamonds that might not even exist, and to do both, he must climb a treacherous mountain, and he hates mountains. When he witnesses a murder on the train ride to Vienna, Austria, he is sucked into a whirlwind of death, danger, and daring. He and the beautiful Marie Andre, posing as his fiancée, go to a tiny Austrian village very near the border of the Russian zone, where he finds a group of former Nazis living in the open, almost taunting him with their presence.
Dead Man Falling by Desmond Cory, is non-stop action a la James Bond, only, it takes place in the period immediately following World War 2, so there are no laser weapons or sleek cars, just good old fashioned guts and glory spying from the old school.
Cory paints a colorful picture of postwar Austria. He takes some liberties with history, for example, positing that Eva Braun bore Hitler a child, survived the Berlin bunker, and ended up in Austria with Hitler’s teenage son. You’ll be so caught up in the story, though, trying to identify the bad guys, you’re likely, as I did, to forgive this bit of artistic license. Besides, he tied it up neatly, so history is safe. The same can’t be said for the villains, though. Johnny Fedora makes 007 look like a wimp.
Oh, and after reading this, I’ve taken mountain climbing off my bucket list.
I found the ending to be a bit anti-climactic, so I’m only giving him four stars for this one.