1944 – Colonel Ferdinand Hecht, posing as a consular diplomat stationed in Casablanca, French Morocco, is in reality an SS officer with the Gestapo’s SD Afrika Intelligence Group. He directs a network of French spies reporting on American navy blimps operating from their Port Lyautey base against U-boats prowling the Straits of Gibraltar and coastal French Morocco.
America’s wartime intelligence agency the OSS is handed the task of dismantling the network and Lieutenant Sam Bradford arrives aboard a blimp of the Navy’s Africa Squadron to kidnap its suspected leader and transport him to London for interrogation. Under cover as a war correspondent, Bradford’s dogged investigation reveals a trail of local townspeople whose counterfeit demeanor masks their true allegiance to the Nazi spymaster. Intrigue, deception, and willful betrayal plunges the American lieutenant into a vortex of lies as the tentacles of the spy ring are uncovered, while embarking on a brief love affair with one of the suspects in the depraved Moroccan paradise.
Rich with atmosphere and period detail, the intrigue is played out in the northwest coastal town of Port Lyautey on the Sebou River where, in the dusty streets and alleys and in the byzantine Medina of this small colonial seaside town, the French influence is evident, but the compelling force is Arabic and overwhelming. (340 pages)
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