THE WAR OF THE RUNNING FOX by Bob Langley

THE WAR OF THE RUNNING FOX

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As made clear by Death Stalk (p. 1086), Langley goes in big for farfetched set-ups and outdoorsy, physical ordeals. The set-up this time is an attempt, by white Rhodesian extremists in cahoots with the IRA, to heist left-over British plutonium from its underwater storage hideaway. ""More ambitious than Entebbe"" it certainly is, but Rhodesian general Larry Parker and his heisters have one key advantage: Parker's brother Ben is the British colonel responsible for guarding the underwater cache, and his guilt-ridden affair with Larry's wife Anna leaves him wide open to be blackmailed and bullied into cooperating with the Rhodesian/IRA commandos. Ben persuades his higher-ups to move the plutonium by truck to somewhere ""safer,"" thus making the heist possible, but soon the scheme has gone awry: the conspirators are reduced to scrambling on foot through the Lake District--30 miles of hills, with horses dragging the cannisters of plutonium on improvised travoises, and British troops crawling on all sides. Worse yet, there's dissension among them--IRA vs. Rhodesians and Larry vs. Ben--and the survivors eventually wind up in a truck, sinking in quicksand. Again, as in Death Stalk, once you buy the premise, the corkscrew action is excruciatingly sharp and twisty. If only Langley could find a low-key, sly way to lure us into his ordeal-a-thons, he'd be a truly first-class teeth-clencher.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Scribners