Book Review: Donald Harvey Has A Nazi To Find

Deathwatch Beetle is a thriller that takes place just a few years after the Second World War and is written by David E. Huntley. This is a self-published novel first released in 2012. An executive named Donald Harvey is brought into an operation that is being conducted by both the American CIA and the British Secret Service to locate an escaped high level Nazi. He basically becomes a freelance operative and travels between three continents to find this Nazi and is being shadowed by an assassin known as the Falcon.

There is no question that Huntley knows his history even though this particular piece is a fictional one. The problem is that nothing really popped here. I didn’t find the main characters all that interesting. There was some action peppered here and there, but it feels like a long time between those sequences. There seem to be a lot of long briefings and meetings, which are likely to happen in real life, but really slows the pace when the author claims to be writing a thriller. I do not know Huntley’s history all that well, but I imagine he has published a lot of essays or other books about this period in history, which is great. His biographical summary at the back of the book would indicate he would be a fascinating guy to meet at a dinner party or charity event. I think his writing talent probably doesn’t translate all that well to writing a thriller.

This is not to say that one shouldn’t check out his history or attend a speech from Mr. Huntley, but his apparent only foray into the realm of fiction turned out to be a struggle to stay engaged with the story. He is a man of significant accomplishments and knowledge, but he could stand to put a few more thrills into his thriller.

Well, I have a few more books to read before my time expires on this Earth…whenever that will be. Anyway, the next literary diversion will be another crime novel by a writer who is quite well regarded in the genre when I peruse the pages of Time to Murder and Create by Lawrence Block.

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