CLOAK OF DARKNESS by Helen MacInnes
Kirkus Star

CLOAK OF DARKNESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Hidden Target (1980), one of MacInnes' least persuasive efforts, hardly cried out for a sequel. But here it is anyway: a drab terrorist-hunt that doesn't even feature the vast scenery or the damsel-in-distress setup that made The Hidden Target fairly readable. Robert Renwick of ""International Intelligence Against Terrorism"" (lnterintell), who saved lovely young Nina--now Mrs. Renwick--from super-terrorist Erik in The Hidden Target, is on Erik's trail again: Interintell has received information that Erik's on the loose in Africa. Furthermore, Interintell has learned that two corporations are involved in illegal arms deals--and that these villains have drawn up a ""Minus List"" (nine enemies to be assassinated) and a ""Plus List"" (the bigwigs who are secretly funding international terrorism). Interintell, then, has three new missions to accomplish: track down Erik; warn the people on the Minus List (Renwick himself is one of them); and somehow get hold of the Plus List before it falls into the hands of the USSR or other terrorist-deal-makers. Meanwhile, too, it becomes clear that there's an informer somewhere in the lnterintell organization. Unfortunately, however, despite all these Missions Improbable, the plotting here is limp and suspenseless--as Renwick and his cronies wander around (Ethiopia, New York, Paris, Switzerland), find a few bodies, exchange a few shots, knock off Erik, and eventually locate the chateau of super-villain Klaus Sudak. And, though everybody constantly worries that Nina might get kidnapped, she remains a bland, inactive mini-matron throughout. So, with no imperiled heroine to identify with and no conviction in MacInnes' sluggish, comic-book terrorism, this is her weakest work ever--but don't underestimate the obliging nature of a long-time, loyal readership.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich