The Seventh Secret
One of those “just a little bit more highbrow than the mushiest mush” popular fiction authors, Irving Wallace had The Seventh Secret as one of his later books. This is an entry in a subgenre that can best be described as “HITLER LIVED!”, the kind of “secret history” book that embodies a trope that probably started the moment the war ended.
This book has a lot of detail that’s basically higher-brow versions of “I know the exact designation of a Scud TEL”. It has Wallace’s reputation for sleaze come across as well. While this sort of thing is common among cheap thrillers, it’s a little bit worse here. Yet the book manages to flow well in spite of these, to his legitimate credit. It also has surprisingly good buildup.
Yet the book ultimately comes across as, weirdly, both too bizarre and too mundane at the same time. Part of this is the very premise. Part of it is a comparative lack of action, with only a handful of humdrum fight scenes. The biggest part, and one that takes away from the effective buildup, is that there really isn’t that much of a villainous plot, expecting the audience to take “HITLER LIVED” as awe-inspiring enough by itself. Still, this was a satisfactory book.