LADY OF ICE AND FIRE by Colin Alexander


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Alexander stumbles badly in his second outing (God's Adamantine Fate, 1993) with a tepid tale of industrial espionage and international terrorism. Scientist George Jeffers has developed a new enzyme that promises to be the building block for numerous industrial applications, including gene-splitting and possible cancer cures. Now, however, it's disappeared in Europe--along with its courier. Traveling to Boston to provide a CIA operative with background information on the enzyme, Jeffers meets Taylor Redding, an adventurer looking for another challenge. She saves him from an assassination attempt, and the pair decide that they must track down the enzyme themselves. Their search takes them to Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Iceland, in all of which they leave behind the standard body count as they fend off the many bad guys trying to kill them. Then, with the aid of a German scientist, Jeffers and Redding discover that the enzyme is somehow connected to a fascist political organization in Germany, to the former East German Secret Police, and to a terrorist group (with ties to the KGB) trying to smuggle a load of weapons into Iceland. Naturally, these thugs to a one want the scientist and his protector dead. Jeffers is completely inept throughout, while Redding turns out to be an expert pilot, smuggler, knife fighter, and marksman who also speaks numerous languages and knows the history and politics of every country they visit--all at the ripe old age of 25. Meanwhile, the plot clunks along unmercifully, one improbable scene following another. The wild coincidences and plodding narrative could be efforts to satirize the genre that Ludlum and others have worked so well, except that the novel is far too thin and wan for even traces of irony to run in its veins. Sluggish, bloodless high points--and few of those.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1995
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Donald Fine