CUT-OUT by Colin Smith


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Smartly written, tritely plotted international-terrorist fiction by the author of Carlos: Portrait of a Terrorist. Hans Koller, a youngish German terrorist (whose ex-Nazi father still celebrates Hitler's birthday), is given an assignment by his ""cut-out"" (message-passer) in Paris, an old homosexual waiter named Le Poidevin: Koller must plastique-bomb a Jordanian publisher in London. But the assassination goes awry, and after holing up for ten days with Ruth, wealthy daughter of a Cabinet minister, Koller goes to Paris, convinced that he's been duped, that Le Poidevin is some sort of double-agent. Meanwhile, bland, overweight history teacher Stephen Dove, whose wife was killed in that failed assassination, sets out to find his wife's killer. He beats up Ruth and tracks Koller down. . . while Koller learns that Le Poidevin has actually been working for Comte Christian Fouche-Larimand (of the mysterious Charlemagne Circle). And then some Arab terrorists get into the act: they capture Dove, put him through intensive assassin training, and show him the validity of the PLO. Finally, then, as Koller stalks Fouche-Larimand (who is dying of cancer in a hospital), Dove stalks Koller, and both die in a hotel room shootout. . . . The climax's ironies are too weak to satisfy, but the novel's sympathetic Arabs are an intriguing ingredient. Overall: so-so action for terrorism aficionados.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1981
Publisher: Viking