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Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou intertwines historic persons, events and locales of World War II with a fictional Nazi plot to disrupt the manufacture of Higgins boats, the Allied landing craft which won the war. Spanning the globe from amphibious landings at Gavutu and Guadalcanal, to the Navajo code talker school near San Diego, to the exotic environs of New Orleans, to the secret world of Bletchley Park, England, to the Allied invasion of North Africa, this tautly written thriller, covering two weeks during the summer of 1942, combines an intriguing cast of characters with the historically important Andrew Jackson Higgins, Admiral John Godfrey of British Intelligence, Navajo code talker Chester Nez, Colonel “Wild Bill” Donovan of the OSS (later the CIA), Commander Ian Fleming of MI6, along with a Polish intelligence officer code-named “Rygor,” and Sylvestro “Silver Dollar Sam” Carolla, the crime boss of New Orleans.
Far too many World War II novels try to deliver excitement through an abundance of action and adventure, but Burgauer restrains himself from going too far and in doing so has penned an absorbing and intelligent read that engages from the start. Perhaps more impressive though is the fact that whilst the premise underpinning Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou promises much, it actually delivers far more. It certainly isn’t a prototypical World War II novel as Burgauer takes us beyond a conventional pseudo-historical slant of pivotal events to instead embrace a more clandestine and thought-provoking perspective. Intertwining an eclectic mix of historic persons who are well-conceived and finely-tuned to the story, its setting, and its locale, he weaves a rich and complex plot that's as compelling as it is entertaining and accessible. As a military adventure it’s an exciting one. laden with double-crossing and unexpected adversities that take us into the world of wartime intrigue. It might be a relatively quick read but Burgauer has a fine eye for detail when it comes to setting up plot and characters, with the payback being a novel that captures the spirit and exuberance of a James Bond movie.
Sure to be met with approval by Burgauer's followers, Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou proves a wholly enjoyable read and one that is highly recommended.
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