3 out of 4 stars
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The Cylinder Program by Paul M MacDonald is a fiction book set in 1966 in Key West, Florida. Bill Baker is a bachelor who was bored and sad about his life. Over time, he discovers a profession that pleases him but finds himself in a plot involving bronze cylinders filled with gold coins that the Nazis lost in World War II. And how does the main character have any connection with that? Having joined the U.S. Navy during WWII, Bill participated in combat that made him the best-suited person to find the cylinders.
In addition to Bill, there are many exciting characters like an American of German origin named Erik, his adopted Jewish sister named Iris, and a Haitian named Jacques, who is an excellent cook. Besides, as you might expect, there are many Nazis who are villains and will want to find the gold in any way possible at all costs.
What most aroused my interest was how well the author managed to develop the relationship between the characters. On Amazon, the author says that he visits Key West a lot. The most important characters and even the minor ones seem to be very friendly, and the description made by the author made me want to get to know the place. Also, the book is a real page-turner. I couldn't stop reading it for even a minute. Some characters are psychologically complex, having gone through many traumas in the past. Everything I mentioned makes the book fascinating because you never know whether some characters' love relationships will fail or not. That's what I liked the most about this book.
There are some negative points to mention. In some situations, Germans are shown in a very stereotyped and simplistic way. In one part of the book, one of the characters remembers that one of the strangers who tied him up smelled like "sauerkraut," so he must have been German. Descriptions of the historical events of the Third Reich are relatively undeveloped. The author should have done more research on the subject. I just found a grammatical error (lack of punctuation at the end of the sentence). In that regard, the book is professionally edited.
Mainly for the problems mentioned in the last paragraph, I had to rate The Cylinder Program three out of four stars. Don't get me wrong; the book is exciting and easy to read. Anyway, the author should have done his homework better. I recommend this book to anyone who loves fiction. The reader will find camaraderie, suspense, and romance in this book. Although several characters become romantically involved, there is no sexual content.
The Cylinder Program
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