Set in the spy-infested capital of Argentina in 1943, Griffin's newest is a sequel to Honor Bound (1994) and adheres to the author's usual recipe of good guys, bad women and broad but sometimes transparent suspense and melodrama. Clete Frade is a Marine Corps aviator, a hero of Guadalcanal. Wealthy and well connected, he is also a spook for the OSS and perfect for an undercover job in Buenos Aires because he's an Argentine citizen. Assisted by two useless Army buddies, a navy chief who considers himself a gaucho and a loyal Argentine bodyguard, Frade is sent south to sniff out both a suspected plot to overthrow the Argentine government and a report of a Nazi ship using Argentine waters to resupply German submarines. He stumbles into much more, however, with the assassination of his Argentine father, who is the leader of the coup plot, and with his discovery of a Nazi scheme to ransom Jews out of Dachau and to use the money to finance a sanctuary for fugitive Nazis should Germany lose the war. Frade spars with diplomats, spies, his OSS boss, the FBI, the Argentine military and an SS colonel, all the while trying to aid one conspiracy and destroy the others. There's no deep moral digging here as there is in, say, le Carre. But Griffin is a savvy old hand and here, working with an exotic setting and a complex plot, delivers the sort of sturdy entertainment his fans expect.
As readers who follow Griffin's series know, each book can be read as a stand alone novel, because events that have occurred in previous one are mentioned in great detail
in current and following books. It does get wearying to have every detail served up again when the reader wishes the action to move along, but I have learned to skim over those parts that are a review of previous actions. This does, however, make it a good thing for a new reader who picks a book from the center or end of a series instead of beginning with book one.
This particular series is most enlightening for me, as I was never aware of the South American, or Argentinian history and participation in World War II. The summaries always mention that this is a "little known" part of WWII and they are so right. I think the European and Pacific battles and events are used in movies and novels, both fiction and non-fiction.
Mr. Griffin has been able to make me feel that I am right there with Cletes Frade and other surrounding players experiencing the events that make the story so fascinating.
Also, as a female reader, I am surprised at how much I enjoy a story involving military action. All Griffin's books are superb reading for both genders.
The best part of finding a Griffin book in a series previously unread is learning that there are several novels that precede or follow the one you are reading.
One in the Honor Bound Series. The 2nd one. Very Good.