Contra-ODESSA by Alex Markman



    Inspired by a true story, Contra-OSESSA is about the workings of superpowers’ secret services in Latin America in the 1960s. A team of KGB operatives in Argentina were hunting former Nazis who kept their money in Swiss banks. Under torture, the agents extorted from them their secret accounts numbers, money from which went to support the Communist movements in Latin America. The American spy network, eager to find the source of Communists funding, eventually traced the Soviets.

       Dealing primarily with the dichotomy of left and right in politically-unstableArgentina, the novel shifts back and forth between the lives of two young men: the Russian KGB officer, Robert, and the American CIA commander, Glenn.

       Both Robert and Glenn are posing as carefree residents of Buenos Aires while they work towards accomplishing their diametrically-opposing political agendas. As Robert and his team of undercover KGB agents hunt down wealthy German holders of Swiss bank accounts, Glenn and his American spy network infiltrate Argentinean Communist rebel groups in order to discover the source of their funding. 

      The pattern of mysterious disappearances of high-profile Germans in Buenos Aires attracts Glenn’s attention, and when he traces the work to Robert’s Soviet team, a harrowing and deeply consequential clash between the two spy networks, and former members of the SS organization, ODESSA, ensues.

       As the two separate narratives of Robert and Glenn converge together, their black and white politics simultaneously become muddled as their respective love affairs ripen under the hot Argentinean sun.  Robert’s infatuation with the older but nevertheless tremendously sexy wife of a former SS officer, Bertha, and Glenn’s fling with the young and flirtatious local communist activist, Lolita, takes on a deeper meaning for them, far beyond being useful for their respective missions. The validity and morality of their activity and political causes come into question.

An exhilarating, fast-paced read, Contra-ODESSA conveys the dramatic and inevitably tragic lives of people drawn into the superpowers’ geopolitical struggle for global dominance. The novel’s plot is intense, but also aptly descriptive and thought-provoking as it invites you to examine the complexities of right and left political thought, the inner workings of the criminal mind, and the mysterious ways of love.


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