enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: W.E.B. Griffin, Curtain of Deatn

I read this book about 13-Mar-2017. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2016. This note was last modified Wednesday, 15-Mar-2017 18:10:58 PDT.

This is book 3 of the "Clandestine Operations" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Written with his son William E. Butterworth IV. Griffin has always been better in the first few books of a series, and luckily this is early. It also doesn't seem to show as badly the influence of collaborating with his son (though of course that's all speculative, I have no actual knowledge of who did what or pushed for what in the plot); it could just be that the characters weren't well-established before his son's involvement, so I'm not seeing changes.

So, we're in Europe, mostly Germany, shortly after WWII. The newly-founded CIA (which doesn't have that name yet) is dealing with Operation OST, hiding people and their families from General Gehlen's espionage network against the Russians wherever possible, including smuggling Nazis to Argentina. This part is with Truman's knowledge and blessing (and from what I know of the situation, it seems good to me; punishing Nazis is important, but so is learning what the Soviets are up to). The rocket scientists from Peenemünde were also taken to Alabama (poor souls!) in violation of an order not to bring Nazis into the US. Telling the difference between people who were Nazis the way a lot of Americans were Christians in the 1950s, and people who actually approved the Nazi program, across time and language/cultural barriers and with huge incentives for obfuscating things, is hard. Working on the V1 and V2 programs certainly was active participation in the war effort—but that wasn't criminal. (The use of slave labor there, and their execution at the end, probably was, but who was in charge and who had any ability to actually stop it is harder to settle.) (Fictional details don't match what I can find of real-world details on locations of various facilities and such.)

We're into the "tell the story" mode, where we aren't always in an exciting part of the story. I'm okay with that. There certainly was a lot going on for the characters.


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David Dyer-Bennet