An implausible--yet, thriller-wise, conventional--East/West melodrama from the erratic author of such ups and downs as Catch...

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An implausible--yet, thriller-wise, conventional--East/West melodrama from the erratic author of such ups and downs as Catch Me, Kill Me and Keeper of the Children. Three American officers in Vietnam become great buddies and later set up Excalibur, an international arms dealership. And all goes swimmingly until Bernie Parker, the trio's information-gatherer, is assassinated in Paris and his attachÉ case is stolen. Colin Thomas, field man for the trio and Parker's best friend, is shocked. . . and eagerly accepts a Pentagon assignment to discover what Parker's dying words--""Doomsday book""--meant. Thomas, in fact, himself engages Charlie Brewer, a hit man, to go out and avenge Parker. And, meanwhile, ailing KGB station chief Dudorov has his Amsterdam team out to see what's smelling so fishy. The Doomsday secret? Well, three West Germans, led by retired Intelligence man Otto Dorten, have put together a plan for the reunification of East and West Germany; it's a plot to destroy Russia, with Chinese help. But before the Germans can approach the Chinese, sleuth Thomas must be removed--and we follow the failure of a series of assassination plots led by aged lecher Manfred Fritsche (who mistakenly murders his 16-year-old mistress) and by Dorten's daughter Kaethe, a daredevil pilot and driver (she and her quarry Thomas fall in love). All of this busy plotting alternates between the predictable and the unlikely, and the anti-Soviet scheme itself turns out to be a doozy: the German trio has planted printing presses throughout Russia's 150 states, thus fomenting internal dissension and guerrilla warfare to tear the USSR apart, while the Chinese army--provided with modern weapons by the Germans--prepares to march to Moscow. Competently handled, but only for readers with a high tolerance for plot-heavy folderol.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1980