April 03, 1978 12:00 PM

by Robert Ludlum

With this book Ludlum (The Osterman Weekend, The Rhinemann Exchange) would seem to have exhausted the intrigue potential of Nazi Germany, along with every apt title this side of the Katzenjammer Kaper. His latest hero is the American-raised son of one of a group of Nazi officials who suffer an attack of conscience and sock away a little nest egg and a plan for their children to atone for their crimes by helping humanity. By the time Noel Holcroft grows up and the covenant is activated, the fund is a tidy $780 million and all kinds of folk have designs on it. Holcroft, in charge of the do-gooders’ side, runs into a crisis every three or four pages—in a 542-page book that’s beaucoup crises—so there is never any chance for much tension to develop. The plot is also preposterously confusing. But then, this sort of book is like those jigsaw puzzles with 28,000 pieces; if you like them, slogging to the end is most of the fun. (Marek, $10.95)

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