THE VIOLENT AIR by Chris Renn

THE VIOLENT AIR

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An interesting architectural melodrama that keeps a steady pace but never ignites. Architect Charlie Heath is contacted by Howard Shelby, an inspector for the Department of External Services, who wants him to inspect the apparently mis-designed 19th floor of the in-progress State Office Building, a 38-story monster overlooking the San Gabriel Valley. The inspection ends abruptly, however, when a pile of failing flanges knocks Shelby off the superstructure and nearly kills Charlie as well. Recovering, Charlie begins looking into his company's plans for the building and discovers fraudulence everywhere, with the whole building undergoing a giganticism undreamed of in the specs that were first announced. And he finds mounting evidence that his boss Ashton Gregory is in collusion with the governor of the state to create this purposeless architectural monster. Then, when a secretary falls for Charlie and offers to help him, she winds up strangled. So Charlie starts confronting Gregory with the evidence. . . while another secretary-lover, Cecelia, joins him in flight from some nasty villains. At last Gregory reveals that the megalostructure is meant to house a tremendous secret computer that will monitor the entire world's energy supply, focusing on oil. So Charlie and some friends boobytrap the building: it will gradually grow dysfunctional when finished. . . . Hardhitting propaganda against energy-wasting glass megaliths, but far-from-compelling suspense.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's