Monday, April 22, 2013

Winner Lose All by William F. Brown

Winner Lose All. William F. Brown. Amazon Digital Services, Inc., March 2013. 544 KB.  ASIN #: B00CEOKUR8.  

WWII is almost at its brutal, ruthless end.  Our story begins with Ed Scanlon, an American OSS officer, and a British   SOE officer about to travel to Germany where they will parachute out of a warplane and begin a mission that they're told will be "a piece of cake."  Not quite! Instead he is wounded, saved by a Russian-German agent, Hanni Steiner.  They fall in love but Hanni knows theirs is an impossible relationship as she is the daughter of a famous Russian government official, one who would be heavily punished if she were to abandon her mission.  She's one gritty, tough gal and Scanlon is a fine match.

Scanlon is caught by Nazi soldiers under the leadership of Otto Dietrich, the Gestapo Chief of Leipzig, Germany, who relishes torturing enemy combatants.  Scanlon is broken by the torture before being rescued by Hanni and her colleagues and then forced to return to recover in England.  At first he refuses to consider any further mission, wanting "out" for good.  Why?  

The ultimate mission Scanlon is ordered to complete is to accompany five German scientists to England.  These scientists are brilliant, having invented a might warplane without the need for a propeller and other aspects that are revolutionary and would change the face of war forever, guaranteeing victory for whoever possessed such knowledge.  After a brief physical altercation with another officer, Scanlon is given a choice to spend the rest of his life in a military jail cell or complete the mission. The choice is obvious and he returns.

The caper turns out to be more complex as it seems there's quite a bit of competition with Russia, Germany, Great Britain and America all vying for these German scientists and the information they own, and the nations have no compunction about using each other to attain their devious goals.  

Winner Lose All is a tightly written thriller story that never stays still in one place for the reader to get complacent or even semi-bored.  One gets a good look at the machinations of world leaders like Stalin, his government and military leaders, Churchill of Great Britain and others who think out loud about each other and play their cards close to the vest until the right moment for pivotal action!  If you love war stories, political thrillers, adventure tales, and just straight, well-plotted action novels, this is your next read!  Nicely done, William F. Brown!

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