CHINESE RED by E. Howard Hunt


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 A retired spook gets sucked back into the geopolitical slugfest in the last days of the Soviet Union, where the bad old Stalinists want to do a deal with the bad old Red Chinese to quash the threat of peace. Old cold warrior Hunt (Body Count, etc.) continues to chase the Ian Fleming food, wine, and spy-loving-women award. Quinn Chance, formerly of the CIA, has buried himself in rural Virginia--but his quality time ends when rogue KGB types decide he would be perfect to stick with the blame for a murder. His victim is to be the messenger from a peace-minded Politburo faction trying to get in touch with their oppos in Peking through the Chinese embassy in Washington. Chance is supposed to die in a fake shootout with the messenger--but his pocket calculator stops the bullet, and he takes it on the lam. Does his old employer, the CIA, help him out? It does not. For various reasons, the Agency would like to see Chance gone as dearly as the KGB would. He is saved from arrest by, of all people, the Chinese, who whisk him into hiding, provide him with the latest in plastic surgery, and hire him to sort things out for them. Sorting out takes him to Geneva, where he gambles and gambols in best Bondian fashion with his Chinese housemaid, with the gorgeous sister of an old CIA associate, and with the latest emissary of Soviet peace. There is a Hair-raising Chase on Swiss Roads in Expensive Cars. There are shootouts after expensive meals and in luxurious homes. There is stupendously satisfying, uncomplicated sex. When things don't turn out the way anyone planned, Chance is off to his ancestral village in Austria, then to a rendezvous with a Traitor From The Past in remotest Argentina. Period piece for the Cuban-cigar set.

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1992
ISBN: 0-312-08157-X
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1992


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