“Jack Higgins” is the pseudonym of very prolific British suspense novelist named Harry Patterson, who lives on one of the Channel Islands, is 87 years old, and has and has now published a phenomenal 84 spy novels. He is an experienced professional and prodigious writer who keeps banging them out, but obviously, some are better than others. His all-time best signature piece is The Eagle Has Landed, which was subsequently made into and equally good movie. Most of them center on WW II, Ireland, or an assassination, and they
are all light and readable, and not very complicated. Most of it is fairly straightforward good guys versus bad guys spy novels. Having read a decent number of his books, The Valhalla Exchange lies somewhere in the middle of the deck. Many of his stories use a literary device like of an old man telling a story in flashback, as he did here, or a tombstone in a graveyard, as a way of transporting the reader back in time. This one takes up the long-time mystery of what ever happened to Martin Bormann. History says Hitler’s secretive, but very powerful, Nazi Party Secretary was killed on the Weidendammer Bridge in central Berlin after escaping from the Bunker after Hitler killed himself. That story has many holes in it and there have been many reports of Bormann in South America long afterward. Higgins’ story has a disguised Bormann escaping south into Bavaria where he runs afoul of an American Army squad and a castle full of elderly political prisoners and generals. Well, the plot is a bit strange from that point, but if you ignore that, it makes a good spy novel to take on an airplane or to the swimming pool , nonetheless.
William F. Brown is the author of 8 spy novels with over 500 Five-Star Reviews: Burke’s War, Burke’s Gamble, The Undertaker, Amongst My Enemies, Thursday at Noon, Winner Take All, and Aim True, My Brothers, and The Cold War Trilogy. They are all available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and now on Audible Audio Books. You read about them and the author’s screenplays and other writing at billbrownwritesnovels.wordpress.com