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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
If fans of classic WWII thrillers like Ken Follett's Eye of the Needle and Jack Higgins's The Eagle Has Landed are searching for that next great read, they need not look any further than Double Cross Blind, the electrifying debut novel by Joel N. Ross.
Set in the days leading up to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the novel revolves around a covert group within MI5 (the British secret service agency responsible for security and counter-espionage) known as the Twenty Committee, which operates the ingenious Double Cross System. After identifying and capturing German spies, the group either executes the operatives or "turns" them so they can be used as double agents. One of these captives, Dietrich Sondegger, has information that could devastate the Twenty Committee. MI5 then commandeers Thomas Wall, an American who enlisted with the Canadian armed forces out of a desire to fight fascism. Wounded in action on Crete and recovering from shell shock in a British asylum, a reluctant Wall is ordered to help extract information from Sondegger. But when the Nazi spy gives Wall detailed directives regarding an imminent Japanese attack on America, Wall has to puzzle out why a Nazi would freely offer up this information.
The impressive aura of authenticity of Double Cross Blind is not surprising: Ross's father and five of his uncles served in WWII, and, according to the author's bio, their stories provided invaluable background for the novel. Masterfully blending historical facts with insights based on newly declassified evidence -- and replete with espionage, intrigue, and clandestine military adventure -- Double Cross Blind will appeal not only to WWII aficionados but also to fans of suspense novelists like Clancy, Ludlum, and DeMille. As far as debut novels go, this one is about as impressive as it gets. Paul Goat Allen