If you are a fan of international thrillers, suspenseful plots, and unexpected endings, then you will be a fan of Ratlines, a powerful novel by Stuart Neville. Set in Ireland in the 1960s, on the eve of President John F. Kennedy’s visit, Albert Ryan, a former soldier who now works for the government is assigned to investigate a series of murders targeting former Nazis who now reside in Ireland.
Reluctant to take on the mission (as it indirectly involves protecting General Skorzeny, a famed Nazi who has the power and money to control people), Ryan begins to investigate the murders only to find that he is in way over his head. He discovers that a young lady who caught his eye was a plant on behalf of Skorzeny, and he is confronted by an agent who wants to gain control of Skorzeny’s “ratlines” (the channels through which the General funnels Nazi money that he has channeled away from his kameraden). Without a distinct ally, Ryan falls victim to viscous attacks against him and his family, and must discover how to outwit both the Nazi General and those trying to blackmail Skorzeny.
Ratlines is an action packed novel that had more twists and turns than I expected. It had multiple levels of suspense and an ending that I didn’t see coming.