XPD by Len Deighton (1981)
I’ve been of fan of Len Deighton’s books ever since he first wrote about Harry Palmer in “The Ipcress File”. This new book was never in my paperback library until I was gifted it last month. The premise is simple enough: some soldiers, who were part of the transport fleet that moved the Nazi gold at the end of World War II, may have helped themselves to some of the treasure. Now, Soviet spies are marking their files with XPD – Expedient Demise. (Since I’m only a quarter of the way through the book, I have a lot to go through before the story becomes clearer.) Evidently, a cover story of making a movie about the gold rescue is bringing the perpetrators out into the open. But then, as stated on the back cover:
June 11, 1940 – Where is Winston Churchill?
A private aircraft takes off from a small town in central France, while Adolf Hitler, the would-be conqueror of Europe, prepares for a clandestine meeting near the Belgian border.
For more than 40 years the events of this day have been Britain’s most closely guarded secret. Anyone who learns of them must die.
It is well to remember that Deighton is British, so the focus is going to be on their secret services.
But is any of this based on fact? Perhaps, all but the secret meeting between Churchill and Hitler…
So almost half of the gold disappeared? That’s worth a look, isn’t it?
The Second World War produced, in the end, one victor, the United States, one hero, Great Britain, one villain, Germany…Hitler, by N. Stone
But I think that last quotation depends on your personal opinion. At any rate, here are some of the Deighton books I’ve read over the years:
One Final Word