Picks and Pans Review: The Seventh Secret

updated 01/06/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/06/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Irving Wallace

Wallace's 15th novel is painfully turgid, obvious and witless. Take his main characters (please): Beautiful Emily Ashcroft is an Oxford historian who has a sexy birthmark below her navel and is writing a book about Hitler; Rex Foster is a California architect who is a tough but sensitive Vietnam vet; Tovah Levine is a beautiful blond Israeli agent who is attractive "in a perfectly goyish way," whatever that means. Most of the action takes place in Berlin, both East and West. Wallace would have us believe that Hitler and Eva Braun had doubles who were poisoned, shot and burned in the bunker while they escaped to hidden quarters. Eva is now 73. She calls herself Evelyn Hoffman, and her daughter is going to have a baby, which means that Hitler will have a grandchild for all the neo-Nazis to worship. One of Wallace's characters asks the heroine, "Another book on Hitler? There have been so many." Too true, too true. (Dutton, $17.95)

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