Doppelgänger: An American Spy in World War II France by E. Thomas Behr

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MWSA Review Pending


Author's Synopsis

 If you do battle with evil, sooner or later you pick up evil’s weapons yourself. Then you risk becoming what you seek to destroy. When the German army overwhelms France in June, 1940, Walter Hirsch’s safe, carefully-ordered intellectual life as a writer in Paris is shattered. A choking cloud of fear—Nacht und Nebel—settles over his beloved City of Light. He is recruited to join Bill Donovan’s fledgling American intelligence service, the OSS. The American-born son of an aristocratic Prussian father, his flawless German and impeccable French—and his innate ability to change cover stories like a chameleon—make him an ideal espionage agent. But his dedication to his country comes at a high price. With each new lie, a little more of his identity fades, like a face in an aging sepia photograph. With each new cold-blooded execution, a little more of his soul shrivels. “Bill Donovan was right,” he realizes. “When you become a spy, the first person you have to kill is your former self.” In April 1944, now with a Gestapo bounty of three million francs on his head, a burned-out Walter is ordered to Calais to scout German beach defenses and troop movement prior to the invasion of France. His new assignment plunges him into a world of treachery and betrayal in which not even his own government can be trusted. Ultimately, his survival depends on the efforts of England’s most lethal SOE assassin, the “Black Widow,” a woman with her own mysterious connection to Walter Hirsch. But even if her daring rescue mission succeeds, what will remain of the man she has come to save? Can the cost of preserving freedom have become too unbearably high?

Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 374