HOSTILE INTENT by Clive Egleton


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 Armament-heavy spycraft as British Military Intelligence tries to unravel the murder of an agent in Dresden, apparently by Neo- Nazis, while the blood flows. Typical Egleton (A Double Deception, Last Act, etc.) and neither better nor worse than his usual fruitcake of falling bodies mixed with broken nutshells of military specs--not to mention paragraphs stuffed with acronyms, hardware, exotic place names, ranking within military castes and intelligence services. The story here, laid out in three acts, starts in Dresden when British intelligence agent Captain Robert Whittle meets with Starshii Leitenant Gulina Kutuzova of the GRU to trade consumer goods and $200 for Gulina's low-grade info on Red Army units. Following the meet, Whittle dies in a car bomb explosion--a Neo-Nazi rally is being held at the same time--while Gulina disappears. Has she defected? If so, where to? Although Whittle's death is of only passing interest to the newspapers, MI5 feels morally obliged to get to the bottom of the event and assigns dependable agent Peter Ashton to find Gulina, the last person to have seen Whittle alive. Gulina's only real tie with another human being is with her mother Lydia, and Ashton sets off for Leningrad and Moscow to track down Lydia. But Americanski-speaking Gulina has fled by Swiss-Air to Montreal and hence hiphopped to Las Vegas, where she has reluctantly allowed herself to be taken under the wing of an athletic lesbian--a financial wizard who knows how to beat the wheel. Along with Ashton and American agent Tony Zale, Red Army agents are hot on her heels. The McGuffin has to do with a breakaway maverick unit within the Red Army, which has planted a string of atomic land mines in East Germany to protect the former USSR from invasion by the new GDR. Pages greased with Cosmoline, mentally quite slippery and hard to hang onto.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-08812-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993


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