DRAGON TEETH by E. Howard Hunt


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 On a break from ex-DEA superstar Jack Novak (Izmir, 1996, etc.), Hunt offers a limp tale in which a CIA operative returns to the Peoples Republic of China in search of his missing son while Beijing and Washington stumble to the brink of WW III. Former field agent Mark Brand now works for one of the CIA's cover organizations, a Beltway think tank known as GlobEco. A valued China specialist, the still-vigorous widower leads a comfortable, largely undemanding life. On the same day he spots suspicious activity in one of the mainland's remote mountain ranges (courtesy of NRO satellite photos), however, Mark learns his banker son Peter has not returned from what was supposed to be a short business trip to Hong Kong. A little digging reveals that the CIA co-opted young Peter to make a pickup from a message drop outside Canton. Arrested at the scene, the hapless amateur was tried and sentenced to a long prison term. Against the advice of careerist superiors, his outraged father heads to the Crown Colony. Once there, Mark renews acquaintance with lost love Mary Chen and cutthroat contacts who help get him into Communist China. Meanwhile, Mark's replacement at GlobEco deduces that the PRC is preparing to attack Taiwan with missiles whose warheads contain deadly nerve gas, and chip-off-the-old-block Peter breaks jail, reaching the US Embassy. On his way in, he gathers evidence confirming American evidence of the threat to its ally. Then, as father and son flee the mainland (killing Mary's unloved husband on their way out), the US President orders up a Stealth bomber strike that reduces China's launch sites to rubble. The story lumbers on to a happy ending--but not before an overly ambitious CIA heavyweight gets what's coming to him. Aimless, bloated, and undramatic fare unredeemed by any hint of suspense.

Pub Date: May 12th, 1997
ISBN: 1-55611-523-7
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Donald Fine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1997


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