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The Salzburg Connection

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,945 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Twenty-one years ago, with the Allies on their heels, the Nazis hid a sealed chest in the dark, forbidding waters of the Finstersee - a lake surrounded by the brooding peaks of the Austrian Alps.

One of the few men who knows of its existence is Richard Bryant, a British agent. Very early one morning, half-hidden by the swirling mists, he sets out alone to discover the secre
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 12th 1985 by Fawcett (first published 1968)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 31, 2011 ☯Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: suspense
I read this book for the first time soon after its original publication in the late 60's. I loved it and inspired an interest in suspense novels and especially all books by Helen MacInnes. Would love to find the time to read it again.
Jan 11, 2010 Glorianne rated it it was amazing
First class story- interesting characters, logical yet surprising plot twists, suspense the whole way through!
May 04, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it
This 1968 espionage novel is set in 1966. It is somewhat dated, especially when compared to the technology laden suspense novels being published currently. There are no cell phones or computers.
It seems almost quaint that the goal is a chest hidden in Finstersee by the Nazis, 21 years earlier at the end of WWII. Undercover Nazis want to keep the location and its contents hidden, a group of spies sponsored by the Chinese through a cell in Poland want to get their hands on it but they are infiltra
Oct 04, 2014 Ferne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading mysteries as did many of my generation with The Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene. Then it was on to the romantic mystery genre as developed by Mary Stewart and espionage novels by Helen MacInnes. This espionage novel is undoubtedly one of the best ever for its time.

This work of fiction is plush with setting descriptions and intricate details of the chase to discover if the rumor is true that an old chest containing Nazi war documents is submerged in the midst of an Austri
Aug 18, 2009 John rated it liked it
Nazis, Russians, Brits, and Americans all converging on the same remote Austrian mountain village. Throw in a few alliances,double-crosses and triple-crosses, amateur and professional spies, a lawyer, an editor and several innocent bystanders mix them all up in Cold War Europe and you have one terrific spy-novel. What's in that Finstersee box anyway?
Shubha Sarma
Apr 25, 2014 Shubha Sarma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
A brilliant book, on an oft-written theme, with an entirely fresh perspective and treatment. The story traces the post-World War II period, when most countries in Europe are engaged in cloak and dagger encounters. There are the Soviets, the Americans, the Brits and of course the Germans who are determined to recoup their losses after Hitler's downfall. At the centre is a deep, dark lake- Fintersee- which hides more secrets than one can imagine.
The book was absorbing and the story unpredictable.
Feb 10, 2009 Sidney rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, a great suspense, mystery that is CLEAN!!! The book was published in 1968. I think I am going to try and check out other books by this author. Yea!!!
Oct 28, 2009 Kara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Out of the box for me, but it was pretty good. The main character kind of bugged me though. Whenever he saw a pretty woman it reminded me of a dog seeing a treat.
Mar 12, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This is my mom's favorite author and she has me hooked. I really enjoyed this book due to its setting and its high level of intrigue.
Feb 19, 2011 Polly rated it really liked it
Ah, exciting, well-written, Cold War-era spy fiction--with romance. Not my favorite genre, but nice every now and then.
Lewis Weinstein
Jul 01, 2009 Lewis Weinstein rated it really liked it
Ms. MacInnes wrote spy thrillers before almost anyone else. They are still outstanding reads.
Mar 23, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
My Dad likes book about WWII and espionage, so there were almost always books like this around the house when I was growing up.
There is also some cosmic rule that every vacation cabin or beach cottage you stay in will have spy novels on the shelves and in the bedside table, so I learned to enjoy them when I was young.
I really like Helen MacInnes-type books, written in the midst of the Cold War (and sometimes WWII), back before cell phones and whizbang technology. They are heavy on patriotism an
More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm.

Helen MacInnes has been labeled "the queen of suspense" by some, and I think I would probably agree with that based on my impressions of The Salzburg Connection. The plot revolves around a box hidden in an Austrian lake, and all of the people who are trying to find it or prevent it from being found. This results in there being a lot of moving parts, but MacInnes handles it well. She's also rather unique in the world of cold war spy novel
Nov 06, 2012 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this. The first chapter which details the removal and hiding of a box of Nazi materials from an Austrian lake sets up the whole situation, including Richard Bryant's murder.Everything seems to flow naturally from this, the arrival of a New York lawyer representing a publishing house to investigate a cheque supposedly issued by the publisher's agent as an advance on a book the publisher would not in a million years have added to their list. Bryant's widow is immediately involved in all th ...more
Jul 21, 2013 Terry rated it really liked it
What is buried in a lake in the Austrian mountains? Are Bill Mathison and Lynn Conway in over their heads? Whose side is Felix Zauner really on? Where is Eric Yates? Why are Chinese agents in Zurich? How are the British and American agents involved? Who and what is Elissa Lang? This thriller was 10 months on the Times best seller list and maintains its page-turning power today.

It starts with a long set up that gives the wrong impression of who the main character will be. But then the pace speed
Feb 02, 2013 C. rated it liked it
A retired British spy runs a photography shop with his loving wife. He finished a book of Austrian lakes, for the Swiss branch of a New York publisher and happens to write New York instead of his usual liaison. A lawyer arrives to explain they can find no contract and only publish scientific material. The American finds a distraught wife instead of her husband and the name signed on the couple’s advance cheque, is no one they know.

I’m accustomed to 300-page mysteries and “The Salzburg Connection
Sep 26, 2015 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Nazi treasure may have been found in Poland in a network of underground railway tunnels. Can't wait for the documentary that must be in the process of being made. Anyhow, this snippet brought to mind all the books that I have read that deals with hidden Nazi treasure, either as the main plot device or as a peripheral info dump, and this was one of the books that I remembered really clearly.
Jun 15, 2013 Theresa rated it it was amazing
This has long been one of my favorite reads. First discovered as a teenager in my hometown's public library, and reread many times through the years, I am happy to say that it held up beautifully to a recent indulgence! The suspense grips from the opening moments at a misty lakeside in Austria where a box hidden by the Nazis at the end of WWII to the final resolution. the characters are smart and identifiable, the story intriguing. Now of course certain business of the story like the suddenly sh ...more
Nov 13, 2015 Chuck rated it did not like it
Although this story's plot is right up my alley i.e., art and other valuables stolen by the Nazis and hidden in Austrian lakes, I failed to finish this book. I just couldn't tolerate the author's plodding, tedious writing style.
John Senner
Feb 07, 2016 John Senner rated it liked it
Very similar to Double Image - namely average doofus meets someone who sucks him into a nest of spies. Somehow, though, he is more important to the resolution of the case than the professionals. Also, he gets the girl.
Jul 06, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Not especially exciting after the first dramatic intro, but immensely enjoyable as more and more layers of espionage are revealed. Then the last third of the novel is relentless! Even though this is an old book (1968), it definitely captures the world of double agents, dedicated professionals, and the unsuspecting civilians caught up in the intrigue of international affairs.
Oct 18, 2015 Rebecca rated it liked it
Helen MacInnes lived in a different time, and that's one of the things that makes these books interesting... but this is not one of her most compelling.
Alecia D
Aug 20, 2015 Alecia D rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the story and think I will read more by this author. There were a few times it felt a bit dated to me or I would have given it four stars but it was a good read.
Dan Grignon
Dec 22, 2015 Dan Grignon rated it liked it
A hard book to read... for me at least. I stuck to it though, more than I can say for other books and read to the end, where I found a good finish.
Stacey Moss
Jun 24, 2014 Stacey Moss rated it really liked it
Definitely a page turner. The plot thickens quickly, with interesting twists and turns.

The romantic side plot is completely sappy and cliched, making me roll my eyes at several points (and have to double check the front cover to confirm that it was written by a woman!). But I took the novel as a light read, and so I could forgive the corniness. Mostly.
Jun 01, 2014 Andy rated it really liked it
I love her spy novels. They work even today - the characters are well drawn and believable.
This was written in a time when people were more proper. It is faced paced and cute.
Apr 19, 2014 Janette rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this down!
Kay Rovik
Jan 25, 2016 Kay Rovik rated it it was amazing
Her books are true post WW2 spy mysteries, each one has a Nazi that the character is pursuing, and the Nazi is trying to murder.the character and the love interest. The books are out of print, but thankfully they are on Kindle. I reread them all every couple of years. A couple of her early ones aren't as good for being a true spy mystery, but don't hold that against her. She wrote true original spy stories and there aren't many authors since her that have written the length of story lines she wr ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Francis rated it liked it
Its the kinda book where the double-crossers don't hardly stand a chance cause of all the triple-crossers.

Its like, guess which card its under? Nope, ...not that one.

So, keep your eyes open and pay careful attention, cause things ain't always what them seem, and misses cost a lot ..a whole lot.
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Helen MacInnes was a Scottish-American author of espionage novels. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in Scotland in 1928 with a degree in French and German. A librarian, she married Professor Gilbert Highet in 1932 and moved with her husband to New York in 1937 so he could teach classics at Columbia University. She wrote her first novel, Above Suspicion, in 1939. She wrote many bestsell ...more
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