The Lisbon Crossing

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Overview

Teeming with Nazis, spies, and ambiguous loyalties, the early days of World War II come alive with dark intrigue and heart-stopping action in this brilliant second tale from the author of the hit thriller The Berlin Conspiracy.

It's the summer of 1940 and Europe is in the grip of the Nazi war machine. Jack Teller arrives in neutral Lisbon on the arm of international screen legend Lili Sterne, to help her search for her childhood friend, Eva Lange. Having escaped Germany, staying...

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Overview

Teeming with Nazis, spies, and ambiguous loyalties, the early days of World War II come alive with dark intrigue and heart-stopping action in this brilliant second tale from the author of the hit thriller The Berlin Conspiracy.

It's the summer of 1940 and Europe is in the grip of the Nazi war machine. Jack Teller arrives in neutral Lisbon on the arm of international screen legend Lili Sterne, to help her search for her childhood friend, Eva Lange. Having escaped Germany, staying one step ahead of the Nazi terror, Eva is believed to be hiding among the thousands of desperate refugees who have descended upon Lisbon. But Jack isn't the first on her trail. Top Hollywood detective Eddie Grimes had been on the case--until he turned up dead.

Instead of answers, Jack uncovers a series of lies that leads from Estoril's glittering nightclubs--rubbing elbows with the likes of Edward, Duke of Windsor, and his scheming wife, Wallis Simpson--into Lisbon's dank and dangerous backstreets. Along the way, Jack makes a shocking discovery that takes him from Portugal to the perilous boulevards of Nazi-occupied Paris, where his actions could change the course of the war.

The Lisbon Crossing brilliantly evokes a time of terror and uncertainty, and establishes Tom Gabbay's place among the best of modern suspense novelists.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gabbay's second historical thriller to feature Jack Teller falls short of the high standard set by his debut, The Berlin Conspiracy (2006). Teller, who in 1940 is working as a Hollywood stuntman, has to leave town fast after having an affair with the wife of studio head Charlie Wexler, who hires a hit man to deal with Teller. Lili Sterne, a German film star whose career is on the skids, asks Teller to accompany her to Lisbon, Portugal, to help her childhood friend, Eva Lange, who may be in danger from the Nazis. Teller and Sterne get into all kinds of trouble during their European travels, meeting the duke and duchess of Windsor as well as various spies and counterspies. Teller, who finds himself mixed up in a conspiracy to deliver England into Hitler's hands, must figure out how to save the British Empire while still avoiding the hit man. There's plenty of action, but a surfeit of dialogue, flat characters and skimpy geographic detail, especially given the exotic locations, undercut the energetic storytelling. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly

Gabbay's second historical thriller to feature Jack Teller falls short of the high standard set by his debut, The Berlin Conspiracy(2006). Teller, who in 1940 is working as a Hollywood stuntman, has to leave town fast after having an affair with the wife of studio head Charlie Wexler, who hires a hit man to deal with Teller. Lili Sterne, a German film star whose career is on the skids, asks Teller to accompany her to Lisbon, Portugal, to help her childhood friend, Eva Lange, who may be in danger from the Nazis. Teller and Sterne get into all kinds of trouble during their European travels, meeting the duke and duchess of Windsor as well as various spies and counterspies. Teller, who finds himself mixed up in a conspiracy to deliver England into Hitler's hands, must figure out how to save the British Empire while still avoiding the hit man. There's plenty of action, but a surfeit of dialogue, flat characters and skimpy geographic detail, especially given the exotic locations, undercut the energetic storytelling. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
Jack Teller searches for a screen idol's childhood friend in neutral Lisbon during the Nazi-gripped summer of 1940 in this debut by former NBC director of comedy programming. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
History continues to be fertile thriller territory for Gabbay, who brings back his Bogart-esque hero from The Berlin Conspiracy (2006) for a WWII-era prequel. Before he joined the CIA, Jack Teller was a Hollywood stuntman. One of his stunts was seducing the wife of a psychotic production chief, however, so Teller figures it's a good idea to accept aging star Lili Sterne's request for his company on a cruise to Lisbon. It's June 1940: The German army has overrun France, and Europe is awash with refugees. The still-stunning Sterne, a former Berliner who leaves "a trail of whispers in her wake," wants Teller's help in locating Eva Lange, a childhood friend who has supposedly surfaced in Portugal after months on the run. The last detective Sterne hired supposedly located Lange, but Eddie Grimes died under mysterious circumstances before he could reunite the women. Teller quickly ascertains that not only was Grimes shot before his car was dumped in the ocean, but that the body locked in the car's trunk belongs to a missing Abwehr officer. Each was shot with a different gun, but both had been seen with Lange. Could the mysterious missing woman be behind the multiple murders? Was she working for the Nazis, British intelligence, or herself? Teller doesn't care about world politics, declaring, "Only suckers get involved in somebody else's fight." As he warms to the glamorous Sterne, however, he becomes ensnared in a web of international intrigue that also holds the recently abdicated Duke of Windsor and his trashy wife (in a subplot based on historical fact). With a story cribbed from period movies like Casablanca, Gabbay has created more of a pastiche than a novel, but it's fast and fun. Neo-noirthriller that will satisfy readers with an appetite for familiar fare.
Forbes
“You’ve got your spring vacation reading right here. . . . Raymond Chandler-esque.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061188435
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/10/2007
  • Series: Jack Teller Series
  • Pages: 320

Meet the Author

Tom Gabbay is the author of The Berlin Conspiracy and The Lisbon Crossing. He previously worked for NBC Entertainment as director of children's and comedy programs, and was creative director of the production partnership between NBC and ITV Television in the United Kingdom. He lives in Europe.

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Read an Excerpt

The Lisbon Crossing A Novel
By Tom Gabbay William Morrow Copyright © 2007 Tom Gabbay
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-06-118843-5


Chapter One Looking back across the stern from my solitary post on the promenade deck, I lit a Lucky, leaned into the clean, white railing, and watched the last splash of crimson spill across the western horizon. 9:17 p.m., mid-Atlantic time. Back in Hollywood they'd be polishing off their three-martini lunches and slipping behind dark glasses as they stepped out into the blinding afternoon heat. I felt a twinge of regret. Tinseltown wasn't all it was cracked up to be, not by a long shot, but it had given me a good run for my money, and leaving hadn't been in my plans. I told myself it was just a tactical retreat, but deep down I guess I knew the party was over.

It was my own damn fault, of course. Falling in with Mrs. Charlie Wexler wasn't the smartest move I ever made, but then one look at her and common sense went straight out the window. She was what you call "drop-dead gorgeous," and if I'd stuck around L.A. much longer I would've been the one doing the dropping. Oh, I'd been in hot water with jealous husbands before, but Charlie Wexler wasn't your average outraged mister. To begin with, he was a bona fide psychotic. Anywhere else in the world he would've been doing a life term in the loony bin, but this was Hollywood, so he was head of production at Metro, making him one of the most powerful lunatics in the business. The kind of powerful that could walk into any restaurant or nightclub in town, empty a .38 into my back, then stop at the bar for a whiskey sour, secure in the knowledge that every so-called witness in the place would suffer from sudden, catastrophic loss of memory. No one in Hollywood was dumb enough to fuck with Charlie Wexler. Except for me, of course.

I flicked the remnant of my Lucky, watched it float out across the cool night air like a lost firefly until it ran out of steam and arched downward, swallowed up by the darkness as it headed for burial at sea. I straightened up and buttoned my dinner jacket against the chill. Lili would still be holding court at the captain's table and wouldn't miss me if I disappeared into a bottle of scotch.

The cabin-class smoking lounge was a strange mix of Surrealist paintings, brightly colored armchairs, Oriental carpets, and odd Gothic touches like the two gargoyles that grinned down from above the cast-iron fireplace. Scattered around the room were small groups of well-heeled travelers, all men, sitting under dense clouds of cigar fumes, arguing the business of politics and war in the whispered tones of a half-dozen languages. I headed for an empty spot at the back where the barman set me up with a bottle of Highland malt and a crystal tumbler. He poured a double dose, neat, and left the bottle on a silver tray. I rolled the glass around in my hands for a minute, savoring the anticipation, then tossed it back. It was a relief, after all that frosty dinner champagne, to feel the smoky liquor melt into the back of my throat and infiltrate my brain. Slumping into the soft leather, I lit another smoke and went to work on getting thoroughly stewed.

I woke up feeling surprisingly fresh in spite of the empty bottle lurking by the side of my bed-the difference between a good single malt and the two-dollar blend I'd gotten too used to soaking up. I stretched out under the cool white linen and surveyed my surroundings. First class. It's the way to travel, all right. I'd been up and down enough times in my twenty-five years to know the difference, but I also knew it was a mistake to get too comfortable in the lap of luxury. You start thinking you deserve the good life and one day you wake up to find yourself staring at the inside of a boxcar. That was my experience anyway.

I felt like staying put for a while and there was no reason not to. It wasn't even eight yet and Lili never appeared before ten-thirty, sometimes not until noon.

Hollywood didn't make them any bigger than Lili Sterne, although her star didn't shine quite as brightly as it had five years earlier. They'd called her "Germany's secret weapon" then; now they whispered "box-office poison." Lili pretended not to care, but as much scorn as she poured on Hollywood, the truth was that she needed it more than it needed her, and she could feel it slipping away. It wasn't fair, of course-Lili was still stunningly beautiful and she was pure magic on the screen-but nobody cared about fairness. Leading ladies just don't turn forty.

I'd met her the previous year on the set of Ride the Wild Wind, a misguided attempt by Warners to match her up with Errol Flynn in a western. I didn't see how a Tasmanian Don Juan and a former showgirl from Berlin teaming up to save Dodge City would add up to box-office gold, and the great American public agreed-they stayed away in droves. It didn't help that Lili and Flynn hated each other's guts, to the point where they wouldn't even stand in the same room together. The director ended up having to shoot each star delivering his or her lines to an off-camera extra, then put it all together in the cutting room. The result didn't work out too well, especially for Lili, who was pretty much reduced to a cameo.

In fact, I probably had more screen time on that picture than either one of them. I'd been stunting for Flynn (who couldn't so much as look at a horse without breaking a bone) since Robin Hood a couple of years earlier. The money was better than daily work, and when you're doubling a star some of the perks rub off, so ...

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Lisbon Crossing by Tom Gabbay Copyright © 2007 by Tom Gabbay . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting

    By June of 1940 France has fallen to the Nazi blitzkrieg, which makes much of the continent unsafe as people flee the German war machine. Former Berlin resident turned Hollywood superstar actress Lili Sterne asks stuntman Jack Teller to accompany her on a voyage to Lisbon as she feels he might keep her safe, but more important to her he might be able to learn the whereabouts of her missing childhood friend Eva Lange, who she fears is in trouble with the Nazis Eva was last reported seen on the Iberian Peninsular. He agrees to this act of kindness as he eludes the hit man hired by studio chief Charlie Wexler for making love with the man¿s wife.-------------- Lili previously hired private investigator Eddie Grimes, who was making steady progress in brining the two friends together, but he suddenly died in what Lili believes is a murder. Jack quickly concludes that Grimes was shot before he and his car was dumped into the Atlantic however, he also speculates that a missing military officer thought to have gone AWOL, was shot and placed in Grimes¿ car. The link between the two homicides besides the vehicle watery grave is Eva seen with both just before they died. As he digs deeper, Jack begins to believe that Eva is a card carrying Nazi working a plot involving the abdicated Duke of Windsor that will hand England over to Hitler.--------------- The second Teller historical thriller (see THE BERLIN CONSPIRACY which occurs in 1963) is an exhilarating action-packed WWII tale that pumps up the adrenaline to stratospheric levels from start to finish. Teller assumes his mission is a simple missing person¿s case, but soon finds himself saving England from Nazi sympathetic conspirators while also dodging a killer. Though the nonstop action fails to bring out a sense of place as Portugal during WWII just is never developed, fans of action to the nth degree will enjoy Tom Gabbay thrilling tale.-------------- Harriet Klausner

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