“Right at the end of the war, some Nazis saw it coming. They knew that even if they escaped, hundreds of others wouldn’t. They needed to set up routes, channels, ways out for their friends. Ratlines.”Hitler, Charlie Haughey and JFK? Now that’s what I call a set-up. The bad news, unfortunately, is that RATLINES isn’t actually published until January 3rd, which is the best part of four months away. Mind you, an ARC of said tome sits on my shelf as you read, and I’ll be getting to it early next month. Joy.
Ireland, 1963. As the Irish people prepare to welcome President John F. Kennedy to the land of his ancestors, a German is murdered in a seaside guesthouse. He is the third foreign national to die within a few days, and Minister for Justice Charles Haughey is desperate to protect a shameful secret: the dead men were all former Nazis granted asylum by the Irish government. A note from the killers is found on the corpse, addressed to Colonel Otto Skorzeny, Hitler’s favourite WWII commando, once called the most dangerous man in Europe. It says simply: ‘We are coming for you. Await our call.’
Lieutenant Albert Ryan, Directorate of Intelligence, is ordered to investigate the crimes. But as he infiltrates Ireland’s secret network of former Nazis and collaborators, Ryan must choose between country and conscience. Why must he protect the very people he fought against twenty years before? And who are the killers seeking revenge for the horrors of the Second World War?
Incidentally, there’s a short story about Lieutenant Albert Ryan in DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS (Liberties Press, 2011), and it’s a very beautiful thing. If you haven’t read it, and can’t track down a copy of GREEN STREETS, the story is also available in THE SIX, a short collection of short stories available free here. No, don’t thank us, we’re just doing our job …