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The Odessa File
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Forsyth manages to bring some really deep issues to the surface with his novel. He uncovers the injustice of the modern world and especially within Germany - that the Schutz Staffel are still very much at large, over half of them remaining unpunished for their actions during the holocaust years. He creates an almost Brechtian aroma to his book which makes a reader want to stand up and do something about the injustices described.
However, with such a great context for a novel, the plot and characters actually fall flat on their faces. Over 3/4's of the novel consists of Miller going from A to B in his investigation of the Odessa. When the action finally speeds up and Forsyth's protagonist infiltrates the Odessa - three pages later he is on the run again, monotonously venturing from point A to point B. This inevitably leads to a very un-thrilling anti-climax.
The characters are stock heroes and villains. Miller has very little psychology and the attempt at a twist in the story at the end of the book quite frankly is more obvious than an episode of Eastenders Omnibus. The Nazi's although we dislike them Forsyth fails to make me as a reader hate them. They all seem very bland and stereotypical and they do not have that "spine chilling" effect that so many other thriller writers manage to achieve with ease.
After saying that the factual accuracy of the novel is the obvious strong point and will interest any history enthusiast or someone looking for a mediocre read.