Fanciful, doomsday nuclear melodrama, with the Soviets holding the big cards. The USSR, you see, has a new weapon--a...

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THE RED GODS

Fanciful, doomsday nuclear melodrama, with the Soviets holding the big cards. The USSR, you see, has a new weapon--a particle beam capable of stopping all US warheads aimed at Russia--and whacko Chairman Letvinov sends Soviet Ambassador Boris Kazinski to see US President Ray Vincent one Sunday morning with an ultimatum: surrender the US within two days to young Timchev, son of Minister of Agriculture Petyr Timchev, or risk annihilation with no hope of a counterstrike. The usual Washington pow-wows ensue (much talky padding too), and eventually the Prez decides to call a Condition Red alert. But meanwhile (unconvincingly), V.P. Jordan Edge, a drunken, handsome womanizer whom the Prez no longer trusts, is hatching a scheme to assassinate Vincent and replace him, using narcissistic CIA assassin Johnny Cockrell (who has been seducing the President's daughter). This never happens, however, because the very same Cockrell has just been dispatched by the Prez to assassinate Chairman Letvinov at his dacha so that Letvinov can be replaced by a saner leader! And still another assassination plot is brewing simultaneously: Ambassador Kazinski is plotting with Embassy staff member Grenzchko, whose sister is Letvinov's mistress--and she must be persuaded to kill the Chairman and save the world. Lindquist (The Street) has some good ideas about how to milk complications out of an international-crisis scenario. Unfortunately, however, his characters are cartoon-cardboard one and all--so the farfetched yet potentially engaging plot-convolutions here never build up much credibility, much suspense, or much fun.

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1980