ROCKETS' RED GLARE by Greg Dinallo

ROCKETS' RED GLARE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A first novel in which an unusually avaricious American capitalist barters US nuclear superiority for Soviet art treasures, making a terrible mess for his son to clean up. How treacherous can the Soviets be? Theodor Churcher, once a dirt-poor Texas farmboy and now an incredibly rich and powerful Texas aerospace industrial potentate, has been trustingly trading away American technology and most hospitably accommodating Soviet military expansionism, asking in return only that he might have a few important paintings from the Hermitage. Well, maybe more than a few. He's actually got a good-sized museum buried under the backyard of his ranch. But a mislaid brushstroke on his latest Van Gogh lets him know that his supposed friends have been sending him a lot of high-class fakes. A furious Churcher threatens to expose an elaborate hoax that the Soviets have worked to hide nuclear weapons somewhere in the western hemisphere--but his one-time pals blow up his helicopter and shoot Churcher out into the Gulf of Mexico through a torpedo tube. Straight-shooting young Andrew Churcher then steps into dad's boots and at last begins to learn what his old man has been up to all these years. Andrew travels to Russia for some Arabian horse-swapping, meets his father's glamorous Russian mistress and falls in love with the American daughter of his father's Soviet business crony--the man who also fathered the plan to hide those missiles in the first place. Can Andrew stop this evil man from cheating at arms control and stepping into the General Secretaryship? Except for a few tense moments, the excessively serious treatment of a fairly far-fetched plot makes for pretty dull going.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's