A lost classic by beloved novelist Joseph Heywood that helped put the writer on the map, THE BERKUT begins at dusk as SS Colonel Gunter Brumm parachutes silently through the sulphuric haze in the smoldering ruins of Berlin, past the Soviet troops that encircle the skeleton that the city has become in April 1945. With the precision and skill that has marked his brilliant military career, Brumm has completed the first stage of a simple yet seemingly impossible mission: to evade the Allied forces swarming over Europe and to smuggle "Herr Wolf," the greatest war criminal of the twentieth century, to safety. Less than twenty-four hours later a special Russian team snakes its way into Berlin's city limits, headed for the Reich Chancellery. It is led by Vasily Petrov, "the Berkut"—named after the Russian eagles trained to hunt wolves, a man handpicked by Stalin himself for his ability to track down his quarry and driven by the knowledge that failure means certain death. THE BERKUT is a classic story of pursuit, of hunters and the hunted, that pits two elite teams against each other—both of them brave, resourceful, of great physical prowess and so fully motivated that only the winners will survive. Scores of other characters populate this engrossing thriller: priests, deserters, partisans, Nazis on the run, Swiss guides, Austrian refugees—as well as a larger-than-life OSS operative who is the only person among the hundreds of thousands of Allied troops in Europe who realizes that Herr Wolf is not only alive but on the verge of escaping justice. Joseph Heywood's novel is a story of enormous conviction and urgency, made even more compelling for being based on facts that have yet to be proven fiction.
Joseph Heywood is the author of The Snowfly, Covered Waters, The Berkut, Taxi Dancer, The Domino Conspiracy, the nine Grady Service Mysteries, Hard Ground: Woods Cop Stories, and the Lute Bapcat Mysteries Red Jacket and Mountains of the Misbegotten. Featuring Grady Service, a contemporary detective in the Upper Peninsula for Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, and Lute Bapcat, a Rough Rider turned Michigan game warden in the 1910s, Heywood’s mystery series have earned the author cult status among lovers of the outdoors, law enforcement officials, and mystery devotees. Heywood lives in Portage, Michigan. Visit the author at JosephHeywood.com.