No of Pages – 377
Author – Owen Sela
Owen Sela the author of ‘ Triple factor ‘ is a British writer, who lives in London – celebrated for his fast paced thrillers which include An Exchange of Eagles, The Kiriov Tapes, The Kremlin Control, K. G. B. Candidate, The Petrograd consignment, The Bengali Inheritance, Brandenburg Graduates.
Triple Factor is no exception, being a taut fast paced suspense thriller.
Triple factor is not only a story of compulsive suspense but also an informed inside view of the deadly game which take place every day in the corridors of Industrial and political powers.
The story of Triple Factor
The story begins in 1945, with Brendt Manninger, one of Germany’s best known and most important industrialist close to Hitler and the Nazi regime, meeting with Hoffman , a banker in Zurich. Hoffman bank is holding most of Manninger’s considerable assets and documents except some newly developed certificates for Industrial processes, which had been withdrawn. Manniger refuses to divulge the name of the holder saying that the knowledge itself was too dangerous for anyone.
Manninger hands over his unusual will to Hoffman which states that the will could be executed provided it met all the said requirements and conditions, after thirty five years and six months. Besides vast material wealth and properties Manniger legacy included a revolutionary scientific process essential to every energy – hungry government and evidence of a past secret which would topple industrial giants throughout the western world and some powerful and well know political leaders too.
Manniger is killed soon after his meeting with the banker in an ambush at the Swiss – German border. Before dying he whispers certain words to Gestapo officer Dieter Asch ” Zurich is not the source, The source is Hellenthal, Hellenthal and the Devil, the devil of the scriptures ” – Asch thinks that Manniger is delirious…
Thirty five years on, with the changed Swiss laws on bank assets a group of Germans living in Buenos Aires , who call themselves ‘ the children of the damned ‘ are plotting to claim the inheritance through any means.
Only one man stands between the Manninger heiress Marit Von Rausenberg who is the only child of Manninger’s daughter Ingrid, the only direct descendant and the only legal claimant to the Manninger fortune and certain death – Dwight Khouri , who is the vice president of Imtra bank , who gets drawn into the affair by chance. But Marit firmly believes that she too is one of them – a child of the damned. Dwight Khouri realises that he needs all his financial and survival skills and every professional trick he learnt in his former trade in the jungle of Vietnam to stay alive and come out of the tangled web…
My views about the book
The book was published in 1982. This was the first book that I happened to read, written by Owen Sela. I must say that it had an impressive beginning, the first hundred odd pages are very gripping, interesting and full of suspense. But the pace slackens a little after that. I cannot pin point exactly what is lacking here . I had this feeling that I was reading one of Ludlum’s novels, but lacking his kind of direction and commitment to the story and perfection for details. Whereas Ludlum never looses his grip on the narrative right until the last page Owen Sela is unable to hold the readers interest after the initial excitement is over.
However , I am not writing this book off because the story line is excellent and the narrative is fast paced only loosing its pace in the last few pages. It is one of the better written suspense thrillers almost at par with Books written by Jack Higgins and Len Deighton. I would defintely like to read more of Sela’s works and then I would be in a better position to comment about his style of writing etc;
One cannot find much details about Owen Sela nor about his books on the net and I feel that he is relatively a lesser known author. Most of the details I have written about him and his books came from the inside cover of the novel itself.
As of now I can only say that the book was really good and I would give it a 3 star , and definitely recommend it for all those who like fast paced, adventure laced with suspense.