NO EXIT by Hardiman Scott


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An impending Russian invasion of Britain: that's the tried-and-true, near-future thriller formula here, and ex-BBC man Scott (Operation 10) gives it no better than a routine, trudging workout. Following a disastrous Labor administration that pulled Britain out of NATO and the EEC, junked its nuclear deterrent, and booted the Americans off their bases, a Conservative government has returned to power. Though disconcerted at the change, the Russians decide to go ahead with their projected occupation of Britain. However, a Politburo dissenter, the gentle, conscience-stricken Alexei Pachenko, gives his friend, fellow-fisherman and BBC journalist Michael North, some information on Russian strategy that must go straight to the Prime Minister. Clearly, though, there's even more vital information still to come--so British Intelligence sends Michael back to Moscow, along with beautiful spy Carol Rogers, posing as his wife. KGB Colonel Brod, Alexei's brother-in-law, grows suspicious; he has Michael arrested on the trumped-up charge of murdering icon-forger and supposed information-leaker Azhimov. Meanwhile, Carol discovers that Bred is involved in selling Azhimov's faked icons via the CIA; she alerts Alexei--who thereupon pressures Bred into releasing Michael relatively unharmed. Soon, a small-scale shooting war develops; but, thanks to Alexei's information, the British hold firm--while negotiating frantically for American backing. A serviceable plot, then, but the narrative's very thin on action and drama: a trim and well-turned yarn, but tame and blandly unexciting.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1985
Publisher: Vanguard