Cover image for As the claws of the gryphon
As the claws of the gryphon
Turnbull, Peter, 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Leicester : Ulverscroft, 1988.
Physical Description:
468 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
General Note:
Originally published: London : Collins, 1986.
Format :

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The setting is France near the end of World War II, where Hitler's army is mounting its last offensive. The plot involves a desperate SS scheme to kidnap Allied Supreme Commander Eisenhower at SHAEF headquarters in Paris. Peter Turnbull, taking a break from his acclaimed series of Scottish police procedurals, has created a richly detailed and engrossing yarn. In flashback style, the author examines the three kidnappers all specially chosen for their American backgrounds and linguistic skills, which enable them to pass as American soldiers. Cutting a bloody trail through the French countryside, they head for a fateful rendezvous in Paris. The narrative builds to a suitably tense conclusion, as a young British spy working in Berlin risks her life to leak information of the secret mission, a fellow agent (and former lover) in London tries to bring her in safely, and an American captain races against time and the SS to save Ike. Despite frenzied pacing at the conclusion, the author delivers a complicated, stylish, and highly readable spy thriller. PLR. [OCLC] 86-13791

Publisher's Weekly Review

The title of Turnbull's latest novel (after Big Money is the name of a last-ditch Nazi mission at the end of the war to kidnap Ike in Paris and give Germany a stronger hand at the bargaining table. Three top SS agents, two of whom were raised in the U.S., and one who attended Cornell, pose as American soldiers and move just ahead of the last German offensive in the Ardennes at the end of 1944. The histories of these men are interspersed with scenes of their journey toward Paris, while an additional thread of the story shows a group of green GIs and a young officer trying to understand the growing evidence that American soldiers are killing other Allies. At the same time in Berlin, a young British agent, the mistress of an SS officer, hears pieces of the kidnapping plot and passes her suspicions along to Bletchly Park in England. There another intelligence officer makes the connection between the different bits of information and alerts Allied forces in Paris in time to save the Supreme Commander. Plenty of battlefield action (in Bastogne), some romance (in British intelligence), believable characters and lots of subterfuge are combined in this complex and satisfying tale. (December 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Set in December 1944, Turnbull's novel traces the events of a top-secret German operation during the Battle of the Bulge. Code-named Gryphon, the German plan uses English-speaking troops disguised in American uniforms to disrupt American combat units, while the Nazi armies push toward Antwerp in a last-ditch effort to divide the Allies. Part of this plan involves the ultra-secret ``Claws of the Gryphon'' operation aimed at Allied headquarters in Versailles and General Eisenhower. Green young infantry lieutenant David Connor arrives fresh from the United States and is caught up in the daring German gamble. Turnbull focuses on Connor and intelligence personnel on both sides to tell his story. The result is a moderately exciting entry in the already overcrowded field of World War II adventures. Buy as needed. William C. McCully, Park Ridge P.L., Ill. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.