Double Cross Blind
December 1, 1941, six days before the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. The days are numbered for Sondegger, a Nazi spy trying to take down the Twenty Committee, a network of German spies the British have turned. For American Tom Wall the days have run together, as he awakens to find himself in a British military asylum. Wounded and shell-shocked, he remembers only that his brother Earl betrayed his unit in Crete, causing one of the bloodiest massacres of the war.
MI5 releases Tom by way of a bargain. Pretend to be Earl and convince Sondegger to reveal how and where he has arranged to transmit his intelligence to Germany. Fail, and Tom will spend the rest of the war in jail. Succeed, and though still considered a danger to himself, he will be allowed to leave the hospital to find Earl—the brother who stole his girl and may well be a Nazi informant. The cunning Sondegger is not so easily fooled. Even as he surrendered to British Intelligence, he knew the Japanese fleet had sailed for Pearl Harbor. The question is: Who will gain more if the Allies prevent the attack? With no one to trust and the clock ticking, Tom attempts to save the Twenty Committee and stop the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Ross’s debut novel hits all the right notes for a WWII spy thriller. His picture of wartime London is accurate down to the period slang. The obligatory RAF Flight Lieutenant was a bit too “Biggles” for me, but otherwise Ross has managed to freshen familiar formulae with deft characterization. Fans of genre masters Follett, Le Carré, and Higgins will find Double Cross Blind an enjoyable addition to the canon.