Conrad, Barnaby. Last Boat to Cadiz. Capra. December 2003. c. 256p. ISBN 1-59266-032-0. $25.95. Fiction.

Hitler is dead, the Third Reich has disintegrated, and the few high ranking Nazis who have evaded death or capture are fleeing into neutral Spain. Two of them, a small man with a briefcase chained to his wrist and a German who may be Martin Bormann, show up in Seville, where they cross paths with Wilson Tripp, the American Vice Consul. Only 23 years old, Tripp has decided on an act that will ruin his career: he has arranged for a niece of one of Hitler’s cabinet ministers and her sick daughter to boat down the Guadalquivir River to Cadiz. What Tripp hasn’t planned on, however, is going along for the ride. But he soon finds himself held hostage by the escaping Krauts, along with a boatload of other eccentric characters including a bullfighter and a black tap dancer. Despite several killings and beatings, there’s more sly wit than menace in this slick tale, which reads as fast as a bullet. Conrad, founder and director of the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, serves up a tasty snack that takes advantage of his unusual background. A contemporary of Hemingway, he served as an American vice consul in Spain during World War II and was an amateur bullfighter before almost being fatally gored in the ring. Buy where patrons seek light entertainment.

LJ, 128, no. 20 (December 2003), 164.

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