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The Bormann Testament by Jack Higgins

The Bormann Testament

by Jack Higgins

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196360,038 (2.93)1



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This is a book I wanted to like. A thriller set in the cold war sounded cool to me, but unfortunately the execution just fell flat. The characters were one-dimensional, and much of the plot and activity of the book just didn't make sense. I understand it was written many years ago and shows its age. I just wish the book would have had more zing. ( )
  aarondesk | Feb 8, 2015 |
This is the first time we encounter super spy Paul Chavasse. For fans of Higgins later novels starring Sean Dillon this seems to be where the character begins.

Caspar Shultz is one of the most prominent Nazis yet to be brought to justice, he was in the bunker in the final days with Bormann & Hitler.

It has come to light that he has written his memoirs and intends to publish them. This will cause embarrassment to British sympathisers at the time and also provide evidence against a number of Nazis that have kept the crimes they committed under the radar.

The British get Paul Chavasse on the case, a man who only wants to get the job done and doesn't mind killing a few people in the process. He is joined by a Jewish group who have made it their ambition to bring Nazis to justice for war crimes. Ultimately he falls in love with Anna, one of their agents.

Pitched against the deadly Inspector Steiner & Doctor Kruger, who will reach manuscript first, or for that matter, even remain alive.

Originally written under the pen name Martin Fallon, this is an early Higgins offering, certainly not up there with The Eagle has Landed, but worth a look. ( )
  Bridgey | Oct 11, 2011 |
In 1962, when this book was first published, the UK was embroiled in the Cold War and there was a widespread desire to continue the reconciliation with West Germany. The prominent capture of Adolph Eichmann and other Nazi war criminals in recent years and recurring rumours of the survival of Martin Bormann, who was Adolph Hitler's private secretary and chief assistant, inspired Harry Patterson to write this story of a British agent trying to recover Bormann’s memoirs from the old Nazi’s valet. His hero, Paul Chavasse, is opposed by Nazi sympathisers who had survived the post-war investigations and were now in official capacities in Germany. John Long, who had published Patterson’s first five books, was unwilling to publish something that might raise doubts about Britain’s allies in the Cold War. The Bormann Testament might be a sensational title but Long did not want to cause that sort of sensation. Patterson took the book to other publishers and it was accepted by Abelard-Schuman of New York and London on condition that the title be changed and all references to Bormann be excised. The Harry Patterson name was not a strong brand that would itself generate sales and it seemed wise to adopt a pseudonym for this venture with a new publisher when Long was willing to continue to publish less contentious works. Patterson adopted the pseudonym Martin Fallon; the name of a character from his second novel Cry of the Hunter. The name Jack Higgins would not appear until 1968 when East of Desolation was published by Hodder & Stoughton while other novels were being released by John Long and Abelard-Schuman.

This is that first version published under the name Martin Fallon but reprinted in 1979 by Coronet, the paperback imprint of Hodder & Stoughton, as a reissue of part of Patterson’s back catalogue under his new pseudonym. It would not be until 2006 that Patterson was able to republish the book as he originally intended it plus a little new material. Both versions are effective. They are taut spy thrillers that read fast. I read this in a single short session.

It is clear that Paul Chavasse, is inspired in part by the success of James Bond. There are differences: he is more intellectual, less cultured, and more violent that Fleming’s hero. It is a feature of Patterson’s heroes that they have a core of decency and humanity despite their professional ferocity. Here Chavasse dreams of retiring with the woman that he loves but his rule is that the job comes before everything. Over the next five novels in the Chavasse series we come to know more of him but this establishes him as the hard-boiled man of honour that is the basis of so many formulaic thrillers. And this is written to a formula but it is one that works to yield an entertaining but essentially unmemorable diversion. ( )
1 vote TheoClarke | Sep 23, 2009 |
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The Testament of Caspar Schultz = Bormann Testament (with a name change for one of the characters)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425212319, Mass Market Paperback)

Out of print for twenty years, and originally published under the title The Testament of Caspar Schultz, this is a Jack Higgins classic reborn!

Special Agent Paul Chavasse knows that if he's being called into action, the job is going bad-and is about to get worse. For a manuscript that exposes former Nazis now in hiding is up for grabs, and Paul must retrieve it before they destroy it-and him.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:00 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Special Agent Paul Chavasse knows that if he's being called into action, the job is going bad-and is about to get worse. For a manuscript that exposes former Nazis now in hiding is up for grabs, and Paul must retrieve it before they destroy it-and him.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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