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THE CONVENANT OF THE FLAME by David Morrell

THE CONVENANT OF THE FLAME

By David Morrell

Pub Date: May 13th, 1991
ISBN: 0-446-51563-9

 Watch out for those guys with the gray eyes: Their ashen orbs mark them as pagan eco-terroristsand the villains of this achingly silly but super-swift addition to Morrell's popular conspiracy-thriller series (The Fifth Profession, etc.). Tess Drakea reporter late of Washington, D.C., high societyis smitten when she meets gray-eyed hunk ``Joseph'' outside her office at N.Y.C.'s Earth Mother Magazine. Her infatuation deepens on their first date as she learns that Joseph is a nature-loving vegetarian like herself; so what if he glances furtively around him and swears by platonic love alone? So when he stands her up their next date, Tess turns to burly cop William Craig, who wraps his arms around her after she identifies Joseph's charred body in the morgue. Who set Joseph on fire? Was it the group of gray-eyes who begin to chase Tess after she and Craig locate Joseph's secret apartment and its grisly altar? Or was it the equally grim men also tracking Tess, who speak of their ``mission'' to eradicate the gray-eyed ``vermin''? And is one of these groups responsible for the recent global rash of eco-terrorism? Flying to D.C. for answers, Tess visits her ancestral home, only to see it set aflame by the gray-eyes, who kill her mom. Rescued by the hunters of the gray-eyes from a subsequent attack, she learns that they are priest/assassins, remnants of the Inquisition, while the gray-eyes are chaste, blood-related worshippers of the ancient sun-god Mithras, dedicated to ecology through violence: Joseph was a Mithran defector, appalled by the sect's bloody acts. But who can save her from the gray-eyes? Her old pal the Vice-President? With Craig in tow, Tess flies with the V.P. on Air Force Two to Spainbut unbeknownst to her, the V.P. hides gray eyes behind his blue contact lenses... It's hard to believe that the author of the brooding thrillers First Blood and The Totem fashioned this literary vacuum, devoid of most anything except windy actionbut that at such a high velocity as to perhaps justify the 100,000 first printing.