EXTREME DENIAL by David Morrell


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 Pow! A counterterrorist's pipe dream of the good life after he's left the CIA erupts in an explosive, cartoonish vendetta in this cotton-candy thriller from Morrell (Desperate Measures, 1994, etc.). Steve Decker left the Agency after an anti-terrorist operation in Rome went disastrously awry, killing 23 innocents and leaving Decker to take the fall for Brian McKittrick, the colleague whose incompetence actually caused the carnage. Now, re-creating himself as a Santa Fe realtor, Decker dreams of a Hallmark rebirth in the Land of Enchantment, that magical landscape of subtly shifting light, great restaurants, and soft- focus coitus courtesy of lovely widowed painter Beth Dwyer. Decker really loves Beth, and tells her so, even though he's always had a problem expressing his emotions. As if in retribution, professional killers break into his house as Beth lies asleep in his arms. Decker swiftly dispatches all four of them, of course, but when an explosion rocks the house he's just sold Beth next door, he's got to face the shocking news that the killers aren't CIA types after him; they're out to get Beth, whose past turns out to be even more checkered than his. And Brian McKittrick, who's still convinced that Decker sabotaged him in Rome, turns out to be just as active in this round of intrigue--but, unfortunately, no longer just as incompetent. Decker and his old adversary hunker in for a bloody battle of wits, purchasing shotgun shells and homing devices by the gross, but the threatened casualties won't bother you, because no whiff of reality ever troubles Morrell's ballet of thrust and counterthrust or makes you worry a bit about his steadfast tin soldier. Remember all those short stories that were supposed to pack as much plot and feeling as a full-scale novel? Well, here's the novel. (Film rights to Paramount; author tour)

Pub Date: May 31st, 1996
ISBN: 0-446-51962-6
Page count: 464pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1996


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