Night of the Fox

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Jersey is one of the Channel Islands off the coast of France which have belonged to Britain since the Norman Conquest in 1066. During World War II, the island was occupied by the Germans and heavily fortified. Now the long-awaited Allied invasion is imminent, and Adolf Hitler would dearly love to know if the main thrust will come against Normandy or the Pas-de-Calais. At this crucial juncture, an American officer who knows the exact time and place of the invasion is washed ashore on Jersey after his boat is sunk in the Channel. He is hidden by civilians but must be gotten off the island before he falls into Nazi hands.

Harry Martinequ, a legendary British agent, is sent to Jersey, posing as Standartenfuhrer Vogel. He is accompanied by beautiful, nineteen-year-old Sarah Drayton, who was born and reared on the island. She will act as his guide and vouch for his true identity. She is to pretend to be his mistress--but the pretense soon turns to reality.

It seems like a clear-cut though delicate assignment until Germany’s greatest war hero, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, pays a surprise visit to the strategically important island. In fact, however, it is not Rommel but yet another imposter. From this point the plot becomes diabolically complex. Finally Martinequ and Sarah have only hours to get the Colonel off the island before they are unmasked as spies.

As demonstrated in his earlier World War II novel, THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, Higgins researches his subject down to the smallest button on a Nazi uniform. When the reader turns the last page, he will feel as if he had tramped across much of the 45-square-mile island of Jersey, enjoyed its windswept prospects, met many of its colorful inhabitants, and absorbed some of its complex history. Higgins’ attention to detail and exceptional plotting ability have made him one of the top writers in this genre.