The Odessa File: Suspense with a philosophical side

The night of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, German free-lance journalist Peter Miller followed an ambulance hoping to find a story at its destination.

All-text dust jacket of The Odessa File emphasizes the SS in Odessa.
The SS stands out in The Odessa File.

What he found was Solomon Tauber, 56, dead from suicide.

Beside the body was a diary of Tauber’s experiences in the SS extermination camp run by SS Captain Eduard Roschmann, the “Butcher of Riga.”

After reading the diary, Peter feels compelled to find out what happened to Roschmann. He learns Tauber had seen Roschmann alive just a month before right in Hamburg.

Peter starts hunting for Roschmann.

Soon his snooping is noticed by Odessa, the secret organization of ex-SS officers living under new identifies, and by spies for Israel’s Intelligence Service who don’t want amateurs messing up their efforts to stop the development in Germany of a guidance system for Egyptian missiles.

Frederick Forsyth’s spins a suspenseful tale drawing on his career as an investigative reporter in Europe. He weaves actual names and events into his fiction so seamlessly that story feels both real and important.

Forsyth’s invented characters feel real, too. He gets the details right.

Best of all, Forsyth quietly raises questions about human motivation and whether citizens should be held guilty for actions of their government.

The Odessa File: a novel by Frederick Forsyth
Viking Press, ©1972, 337 p.
1972 bestseller #3 & 1973 bestseller #4
My grade: A

© 2018 Linda Gorton Aragoni

Published by

Linda Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. My program for turning teens and adults into competent writers is just eight sentences, 34 words.

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