WINTER PALACE by Dennis Jones

WINTER PALACE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jones replays his overly familiar juggling act (Barbarossa Red, Rubicon One) of keeping live plot-lines in motion while WW III hangs in the balance. Gorbachev is gone. Not dead, but replaced by Valentin Kulagin, a Stalinist who is putting the Soviet Union back on its feet after all that lily-livered glasnost nonsense. Kulagin is being assisted by his new KGB chief Frolov, with whom he is rearming Law-renti Beria's old plan, Winter Palace, which had had Stalin's own blessing back in the early 50's. Winter Palace is the name of the system of new concentration camps being set up throughout Russia to house the entire Soviet Jewish population. A new pogrom is underway. Russia has decided to let all its two million Jews go to Israel. Of course, Israel will not allow such an influx, so the two million Jews, who are having terrible treatment at the camps, will be thrown onto the world's mercy, especially the US's and, as it turns out, Turkey's. The darker KGB plan: the pogrom is only a ruse for infiltrating some 50,000 KGB spies, hidden among the two million deportees, into the Mideast and the West. At the same time, a Russian Jewish academician and spy for the West, Professor Markelov, has secret microfilms of Beria's original plans. While his family is being demolished, he must get the microfilm to CIA agent Samuel Cole, a wealthy linguist-art collector who is to go to Moscow and get Markelov's microfilm. But though he gets the microfilm, Cole slips up in Moscow and is quickly odd-man-out, on the run apparently toward Finland. Meanwhile, Islamic fundamentalists in Turkey have stolen and rearmed two old atomic warheads, are holding up the Mideast and plan to destroy Israel. The US and USSR Mediterranean fleets are poised on the brink of WW III. Jones attempts to resolve his massive pogrom at novel's end and not let the gaps show in his plotting. But pogrom as thriller entertainment, while fascinating, will leave some readers with an unpleasant taste in their mouths.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1988
Publisher: Little, Brown