Backlash Author:Morris L. West The setting is a picturesque town in the Austrian Alps. It is the beginning of the Occupation following World War II. Major Mark Hanlon, arriving as Commander, is being driven up the steep, icy slopes of Bad Quellenberg as the novel opens. He and his sergeant stop to watch a marvellously skillful skier come hurtling down the mountaintop. — The sk... more »ier comes to a stop, aims a rifle, shoots, disappears.
When Hanlon can rise from cover, he finds his sergeant dead. Furious, he drives himself into the town, determined that the killer be brought to justice.
That single, dramatic moment of useless death is the fierce motivation behind a compelling novel told at compulsive pace.
At first glance the problem is simple: find the killer. Yet there are questions of love versus loyalty, flesh versus spirit, anarchy versus law.
Fischer, the local chief of police (who has a dossier on everyone in town), knows the killer is his nephew -- a young man half-crazed by war.
Father Albertus, the local parish priest who was himself tortured by the Nazis, opposes Hanlon's demand for retaliatory justice lest a potentially useful life be lost.
First in a quiet opposition of wills-then in flaring action--the struggle for power intensifies.
So, too, with love. For Hanlon, estranged from his wife, yet held to the contract by the dictates of his faith, shuns love--until the spring-fresh beauty and innocent heart of Anna Kunzli capture him entirely.« less