The Spymasters is the seventh, and most recent, book in W.E.B. Griffin’s Men of War series. I read it in only two days — I simply could not put it down.
The book continues the story of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, precursor of today’s CIA) and fictitious characters, Richard “Dick” Canidy, Stan Fine, Eric Fulmar, and Jimmy Whitaker, along with real life figures, William “Wild Bill” Donovan and British spies, Ian Fleming and David Niven. Griffin explores the assistance of the Sicilian mafia in getting our spies into and out of Sicily, and makes a credible case for the reality of this assistance which has been denied by some historians. This fascinating account ends with the removal of Werner VonBraun from Germany, by the allies. I have eagerly anticipated publication of the eighth book in this series. I’m still waiting.
In Spymasters, Griffin also covers the time in which Werner VonBraun was working for the Axis powers. I’m hoping for an eighth book that will tell about the turning of VonBraun, who became a prominent figure in our space program. I remember reading about him on the front page of my 2nd grade Weekly Reader.
Reading this series brought the Second World War to life more than anything I had ever read — and I minored in history as an undergraduate! It reminded me how very young that generation was when we went to war — how very young every generation is when sent to war. The main fictitious characters were officers in their early twenties, not teenagers as enlisted men and women so often are, but even they had to grow up rapidly. It gave me a new appreciation of my parents’ generation, even more so than The Greatest Generation did.
I especially admire Griffin’s ability to tell a great story while staying true to historical facts. This book was a true page turner for both my husband and me. If you enjoy intrigue, mystery, and history, with just a little romance thrown in, this book is absolutely a must read for you.