TRAVELLERS IN AN ANTIQUE LAND by David Creed

TRAVELLERS IN AN ANTIQUE LAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The ""antique land"" is Lebanon--but this well-meaning little political thriller was written in early 1982, making it a hopelessly dated dramatization of the complex factional warfare in and around Beirut. Creed's hero is Matthew Curran, an airline-company troubleshooter who's really an anti-terrorist agent from Britain's Special Branch. And, by coincidence, one of Curran's office-workers will soon be secretly teaming up with one group of terrorists: Tagarid Kurban has vowed vengeance on the Syrians (they raped her, murdered her husband), and her quest for a gun has led her to Khaled--a Lebanese ""patriot"" whose motives for terrorism are more involved with internal power-plays than genuine nationalism. Taken in by Khaled's rhetoric, beauteous Tagarid becomes one of his agents: on a trip to London, she neatly assassinates a Syrian. Next, he involves her in a scheme to kidnap and kill heroic Lebanese journalist Rawa Laudi. (Tagarid doesn't know the identity of the intended victim.) But by now Curran, while falling in love with Tagarid, has begun to suspect that she's become involved with Khaled's evil machinations. So he manages to rescue her from the misguided Laudi caper (which is foiled anyway)--even if Tagarid won't give up her determination to be a part of anti-Syrian activism in Lebanon. Some interest as a period-piece, with a few vivid political particulars--but the complicated Lebanon situation is made additionally confusing by the out-of-date setting, while Creed's storytelling is earnest, stiff, sometimes amateurish.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1984
Publisher: Secker & Warburg--dist. by David & Charles