Title: The Judas Code
Author: Derek Lambert
Published on: 22nd March 2018 by Collins Crime Club (republished)
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Mr.Lamont is writing a book on WW2 and while researching for the same, he comes across two words – Judas code; the words that could have changed the history. He puts up an advertisement in the newspaper asking anyone who has knowledge of Judas Code to come forward. The next morning, a man who calls himself Mr. Chambers forcibly enters Lamont’s house and threatens to kill him if he pursues the research further. But Mr. Lamont will not take a no for an answer. He receives a phone call as soon as Mr.Chambers leaves and the caller asks Mr.Lamont to meet him at the zoo. After shaking off a tail, Mr. Lamont finally meets a man who reveals the true story behind the Judas Code.
The reader is then taken to the year 1940 when the Great War had started and Hitler was at his monstrous best. Powerful and stubborn, both Hitler and Stalin secretly wanted to overpower each other. Enter Churchill, the mastermind behind this secret plot that later came to be known as the Judas Code.
Viktor Golovin is not convinced that Stalin is purging those who stand against him. After seeing the proof – he sees innocent men being shot to death, he decides to start a new life elsewhere. Years later, Josef Hoffman is now a pacifist working in Red Cross. When a man tries to kill Hoffman in Lisbon, a British agent named Cross saves him. Viktor Golovin is now called Josef Hoffman but it just doesn’t end there! Viktor is also the illegitimate son of, none other than, Stalin! Viktor is completely unaware of this fact until Rachel tells him so. He was adopted by a childless couple and he assumed that his parents died in the war.
The story then proceeds to the plot concocted brilliantly by Churchill to start a fight between the Germans and the Russians, thus saving Britain from the wrath of Hitler’s Blitz and firebombs. Josef even goes to Russia to meet Stalin. Together, they decide on a way to communicate with each other – and the cipher is called the Judas Code. I will not tell you the details of the Code because that totally spoils the suspense of this book.
The code is revealed in the end and it was something that I had never expected. Why doesn’t Stalin pay heed to the warnings that Hitler had plans to attack Russia? Josef warned him and so did the other intelligence agents, and yet Stalin refused to take any action! Why?
No spy story is complete without a tinge of romance and this book was no exception. Rachel Keyser, a British Jew, is asked to woo Josef and tell him about Stalin and turn Josef into a double agent. Rachel is torn apart between saving the love of her life and being loyal to her country. She falls in love with Josef but at the same time, she cannot jeopardize the plan.
Espionage, double agents, triple agents, war, conspiracy, and whatnot, this book is a complete package of all these! Lambert’s writing is spectacular and so is his story-telling. This is the last of Derek Lambert’s books that I read and looks like I saved the best for last. Each of Lambert’s works is different and that is what makes him one of the best authors of all times.
As I have mentioned in my previous review posts (of Lambert’s books), his writing is classy. Not suitable for beginners. But if you really want to read a book with good literature and a good command over the language, then read any of Lambert’s books and you will not be disappointed.
Thank you, Harper Impulse and Killer Reads and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.