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Ruin Value: A Mystery of the Third Reich    by J. Sydney Jones order for
Ruin Value
by J. Sydney Jones
Order:  USA  Can
Mysterious Press, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Hitler thought that a thousand years after World War II, the world would come to view the ruins in Germany as they do Pompeii. Called it Ruin Value. He was wrong in one aspect he believed that tourists would be admiring him as a wonderful leader, rather than as the murderous swine that he really was.

Ruin Value by J. Sydney Jones plays out in Nuremburg. Jones' portrayal of the devastation caused by allied bombing picks up the reader by the scruff of the neck and deposits him/her right in the middle of the rubble. Survivors lived in this rubble or bombed-out buildings and churches even in the catacombs under these roofless places of worship. A more poignant depiction could not be written to describe a ruined city.

Nathan Morgan, an American, is to bring order to the setting of the war crime trials. He had been a New York homicide detective before his current role as a Captain in the U.S. Army and has been charged with a very important military order. An order that will prove to be much more difficult than he had imagined.

French, Russian and American soldiers are being murdered in three-night intervals. Their throats slashed from ear to ear. Morgan approaches a German prisoner who was wise in the ways of policing to work with him to catch the killer, or killers, so that news of the murders does not replace the headlines generated from the war crime trials.

The plot gets devious now and it's almost hard to decide who the good guy is and who is the bad one. It took me a while but I pegged the murderer right. Wasn't easy. Had to pay attention. Ruin Value is a very good read.

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