HOOLIGAN by Colin Dunne


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A nasty piece of work from British journalist Dunne (Black Ice, etc.), whose not-quite-retired secret-service agent Joe Hussy (current cover: garage mechanic/private detective) is hired by veddy proper schoolmaster Charles Noble to find his brother Richard--last glimpsed on the telly lobbing petrol bombs at the coppers. Hussy is warned off the case by Intelligence nabob Cringle but proceeds anyway after first doing a spot of messenger work for him: delivering Fortnum & Mason pies to ""superstar"" terrorist assassin Koch, in exchange for a captive British agent. Soon Hussy is up to his Beretta in terrorist schemes, including Richard's bomb-making tutorials, as well as his rigged gambling games, which move money to revolutionary groups as needed. Is Richard a loyal Cringle agent? Has he been turned? Hussy trusts him--until Richard absconds with two million and girlfriend Anna to the Canadian North-west. Brother Charles (who thought Anna loved him) accompanies Hussy there for a messy shoot-out resolution that includes the peripatetic Koch. Quintessentially British public-school lingo (""You brainless bungling bloody eejit""), and wives fare badly; ditto hedgehogs. Still, Jamie's nicely rendered (the ""garridge"" owner) and Hussy's an oddly effective combination of crafty and sentimental. All in all: rather typical, duplicitous thriller, with some sharp moments.

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1988
Publisher: Norton