Having recently been enthralled by the classic cat and mouse thriller “Rogue Male” by Geoffrey Household, I was anxious to read the sequel. I knew the reviews were mixed but I had to know the end of the story. First I had to find a copy. It’s out of print, but I was able to buy an old library book online. Although it was written in 1982, some forty years after the first, and the plot is dated “Rogue Justice” provides a worthy conclusion to the story.
The book begins with a preface by Saul Harding, the protagonist’s legal advisor which brings new readers up to date. He relates how Raymond Ingelram (unnamed in “Rogue Male”) took a passport from Major Quive-Smith, after killing him, and used it to return to Germany, in the hopes of successfully assassinating Hitler. When the Gestapo learns about his false passport he’s apprehended and held in Rostock. The prison is destroyed in a British air raid and he escapes. This is where Raymond’s further adventures begin as he eludes capture and travels into occupied Poland.
There are major differences between this book and “Rogue Male.” The first book focuses on the hunter and the hunted – the hero pitting his intelligence and stamina against the worthy opponent, Major Quive-Smith. The battle of wits between these two, how they try to outfox each other, is truly engrossing. In the second book there is no one antagonist, it’s Ingelram fleeing the Nazis with the hope of another chance to kill Hitler. The sequel has more adventure, different locations and interesting secondary characters, and yet much of the suspense is gone. Having the hero and his target remain unnamed provides an aura of heightened mystery in “Rogue Male” that doesn’t come through in “Rogue Justice.” That being said this is still a great story. Espionage, intrigue and betrayal lead to an unexpected and haunting conclusion.
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) (July 3, 1984)