Trial by Terror Author:Paul Gallico Three sets of characters in the Europe of 1950 act out this hair-raising story. First of all there are the Americans, all members of the staff of an English-language Paris newspaper- from the veteran graduate of the city desk to the brash and idealistic green reporter. Then there are the Europeans- a cross-section of poor but proud ex-gentry, a ... more »former French Resistance underground worker, rascals, Dior fashion models. Finally there are the Russians with their scientifically calculated horrors to reduce men to animals.
The brash young reporter is captured in the Russian-occupied zone of Austria. Tension is high as the Russian psychiatrists use wonder drugs and the latest techniques of psychoanalysis (in reverse) to break down the reporter's sanity and make him confess to spying- scenes reminiscent of Vogeler- while his paper, through clever undercover work that discloses damaging evidence of Titoism, seeks to blackmail the commissar involved and obtain the reporter's release. There are a love tangle- two women love the reporter- and plenty of action. A man gives his life before a solution is achieved. Like The Adventures of Hiram Holliday and The Secret Front, this is Gallico at his very best.« less