JADE TIGER by Craig Thomas


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Like most of Thomas' other thrillers, this futuristic spy-fest is sturdy, lively reading despite a plot of forehead-wrinkling complexity and characters of stereotypical obviousness. The Berlin Treaty is about to be signed: when it goes through, Germany will be reunified (as a non-aligned nation), and the Berlin Wall will come down. The architect of this plan? Wolfgang Zimmerman, trusted advisor to West Germany's Chancellor. But then, on a trade visit to Shanghai, Zimmerman (apparently a food-poisoning victim) winds up near death in East China Hospital, raving deliriously. . . in Russian! And news of this suspicious bilingualism reaches Aubrey of British Intelligence when a Chinese intelligence officer defects. Will Aubrey believe the Chinese spy's story--which suggests that Zimmerman is a Soviet mole? (Not likely, since flashbacks reveal that Zimmerman--authentically German--happens to have saved Aubrey's life during World War II.) Will the British be able to keep the mole-story a secret from the press? (Otherwise, the Treaty--which Britain wants badly to go through--will be doomed.) Well, Aubrey determines to prove that Zimmerman isn't a mole; so he sends Chinese-born spy David Lui to investigate in Shanghai. . . while Buckholz of the CIA is up to no good (it seems) in Hong Kong. And finally Aubrey himself must go to interview Zimmerman's old companion-in-arms in Australia--where he and his thug/bodyguard Hyde are attacked in the outlands by a Soviet hit team under the leadership of Hyde's old nemesis, Tamas Petrunin. Layer upon layer of bloodshed, four criss-crossing spy forces, the usual sort of windup (the CIA as villain): decently readable, essentially unimaginative, international spy-fi from a modest, efficient pro.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Viking