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Thursday, 11 June 2015

'Behind The Text’ 12 'Find Bormann’

Behind The Text’ Part 12_’Find Bormann’

The man who never was?


Find Bormann’ was published in 2013 and is Book 8 in the 'Jonas Forbes Saga'. It's set in Uruguay in 1962. Note the heading I’ve  given to this Post, ‘The man who never was ?’. For nearly 50 years the hunt has been on for Reichsleiter Martin Bormann (Hitler’s Secretary and, by 1945, the second most powerful man in the Third Reich). There is no indisputable proof he was ever found – alive or dead. Even during his ‘recorded life’ (1900-45) there was never enough evidence to build up a convincing portrait of a real man.

This novel is set soon after the execution of Adolf Eichmann, abducted in Argentina in 1961 and taken to Israel for trial. Rumour is saying Bormann’s alive in Uruguay and it’s really about a race between several hunting packs for a wanted war criminal. A Mossad ‘abduction squad’ leaves Israel to bring him for trial. An SS ‘protection squad’ is dispatched by ‘Gestapo’ Mueller from Brazil to bring him to safety. Meanwhile Jonas Forbes is sent by the UK Foreign Office to recover from Bormann ‘embarrassing evidence’ of activities by certain individuals during the late thirties. In Montevideo he falls in with a young girl, also searching for Bormann for more personal reasons. Jonas quickly teams up with Ilse Buch, neither trusting the other but growing closer together as they head into the unknown.

Of course, as so often in the past, Jonas disappears from view leaving his ‘Girl Friday’, Vanessa, to experience a nightmarish psychic experience brought on by anxiety while his ‘friendly copper’ (DCI John Wyatt) is fighting an attempt to abandon Jonas & close down the mission. Why? Let’s quote John Wyatt’s admission: ‘. He's killed one man in Montevideo defending a girl. He and the girl travelled north and they've disappeared but - and this is the really juicy part to pass on to whoever's working your strings - before they went missing they were linked in some way with the sudden death of a rich old guy who was flogging girls to brothels and with the extermination of a bunch of gauchos.....’ That wouldn’t encourage HMG to carry on, would it - but what about a Reader?

However, the Uruguayan police are drawn in by murder and the CIA suddenly decide to intrude on what has started to look like curtains for Jonas Forbes In fact, Jonas is pushed to the side in the final climax and, for once, himself has the job of picking up the pieces.

This novel’s a fast-moving piece of hokum which, while never really straying much beyond the bounds of possibility, certainly frays those borders.

Next a home-grown scandal with several historical figures making a fictional bow.

Bob Hyslop

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