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Why is an old, remote Canadian power-plant so heavily, secretly guarded by NATO? And who are the conspirators scheming to break through the plant's super-security? Those are the questions that more-or-less hold this talky thriller together--but few readers will stick around for the answers or the violent finale. In the opening chapters, General Alex Bonnet, commandant of the mysterious ""Plant,"" wakes up one morning to find that his old nemesis, Col. Brent Fillmore, is approaching the Plant on foot--determined to demonstrate the Plant's safety problems by getting through the security maze; Fillmore almost succeeds (fast-talking some guards, jamming the video-surveillance system, etc.)--but is finally stopped by some code-word razzle-dazzle. Then, however, evidence of other, mysterious security-breaches appears. So Bonnet, Fillmore, and two female aides brood over the who and why. . . while Estey, in alternating chapters, offers enigmatic glimpses of the anti-Plant conspiracy: a meeting of bigwigs in Athens; the doings of a few spies in Canada. And the folks at the Plant really start worrying when a plane crashes near the Plant with a naked, dead woman inside--a woman with links to a Minister in the Canadian government. But, though some sleuthing does lead the Plant overseers to a spy hideout, they're not in time to prevent the assault on the Plant (which comes by way of a ""Trojan Train""); so there's a fair amount of climactic bloodshed before the secrets of the Plant and its enemies (a let-down all around) are revealed. Static and murky suspense, then--devoid of character appeal but of some interest, perhaps, to security-technology devotees.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1983
Publisher: St. Martin's