TURKISH RONDO by Anne Stevenson


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Another Stevenson romantic-suspense exercise--with inventive plot and action but skimpy characterizations and yards of doggedly speculative chat. When English student Frances Howard and cousin Bernice visit some ancient Turkish ruins, shots ring out over the hillside--and a seedy stranger pounds down the hill and roars off in their taxi. This stranger, later known to Frances as Okyer, will reappear on several other stressful occasions. But first Frances rescues handsome writer Robert Denning from assailants, sees him again in Athens, and marries him, after a speedy courtship, back in London. Then, in Robert's dusty but magnificent mansion, he tells Frances of his deceased father, Maurice Arden, an archaeologist who had passed on to his son a golden bull, probably an artifact from a vanished civilization of 1300 B.C. But before Robert can continue his father's explorations, he disappears. So, relying on the strength and comfort of Robert's perhaps-shady friend John Nairn, Frances sets out to find Robert. The search will take her again to Greece and Turkey, where she snatches clues from here and there and learns the Big Secret: Maurice Arden is alive and in Russia. Is he a defector or--as strangely sinister British intelligence officer Edmund Chance believes--a double agent whose return would be a disaster? Frances finds out--after a murder, unexpected sanctuary, more Okyer, and two show-downs in lovely mountain scenery with the whole cast. . . plus Kurds, KGB, and Turkish police. Proficient, reliable, but cardboard-y and far from heart-stopping.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1981
Publisher: Morrow