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Spy on History: Victor Dowd and the World War II Ghost Army: 07/07/18
Spy on History: Victor Dowd and the World War II Ghost Army by Enigma Alberti is the second of the interactive Spy on History series. This volume is a short biographical sketch of Victor Dowd who was instrumental in the Ghost Army creation in WWII.
For the biographical aspect the book is straightforward, showing how Dowd helped to create a fake army to confuse Germany. He was an illustrator and good at noticing details, and was able to use his talents as well as stage effects to give the appearance of an active army where none was present.
The interactive part of book, readers are supposed to use tools very similar to what were included in the previous volume, Spy on History: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring to find Dowd's missing sketch book. While Dowd was known to sketch while on assignment and his sketches to do still exist, the look for a sketchbook feels tacked on, rather than being an integral part of the plot.
The book, too, despite covering an interesting subject, was a dull read. Dowd doesn't come alive in the same way that Mary Bowser does. In her case there is more personally at stake as she was a Black woman in Jefferson Davis's home. Yes, Dowd was a soldier but he was stationed in Britain doing some smoke and mirrors and while it was crucial to a successful invasion, it isn't quite the same level of personal danger.
Victor Dowd died on May 17, 2010 at the age of 89.