MEANS OF ESCAPE

BY SPENCER DUNMORE

Here is a rare combination of unrelenting suspense and ironic humor, in a fast-paced adventure of a downed English airman and a renegade Wehrmacht officer forced to make common cause in attempting escape from Hitler's collapsing empire.

They were an unlikely pair - cockney flight engineer Ron Pollard, shot down behind enemy lines, and the German aristocrat Colonel Carl von Eisner, fleeing the Gestapo after an abortive attempt on his Führer's life. Poles apart in class and temperament, but both bent on escape, they undertake an uneasy masquerade - ridiculous but for the mortal dangers involved - with brash commoner Pollard in the patrician garb of an RAF officer, and Eisner, the sophisticated Aryan, in the Londoner's enlisted man's khaki; a masquerade that must fool murderously patriotic Germans, both soldier and civilian. But a courage Pollard never knew he had, Eisner's cool ingenuity, and a growing mutual regard serve them well, and when they come upon a lightly guarded German Messerschmitt, they are ready for a startling escape attempt in which the life of each is in the hands of the other.

Spencer Dunmore has combined an intriguing anatomy of friendship forged in desperation with a high-tension tale of World War II.