AIR GLOW RED by Ian Slater


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After a promising start (in the global-disaster vein), Slater's new thriller soon becomes far too formula-ridden and hectically plotted (in a James Bond super-villain, super-weapon vein). It's the near future, and US Pres. Sutherland wants to meet the deepening energy crisis by approving the controversial Satellite Solar Power project--which will put a fantastically big sun-collector in the sky. And so physicist Harry Sturgess is chosen to evaluate the plan, presenting both pros and cons--like the fact that if the satellite gets slightly off-kilter it will endanger millions of people around the globe with microwaves. . . or will heat the ozone layer and turn it Air Glow Red, creating a vast, fatal greenhouse effect. Dr. Roth, the project director (it is secretly already underway--in experimental stages) and his beautiful nuclear-physicist assistant Erica Sam try to persuade Harry to endorse the plan. But Harry is getting suspicious--especially when huge contractor Sudley Steel tries to frighten him off. And though some of the shady goings-on turn out to be merely a test of the experimental station's security, the real truth is genuinely evil: Roth has used the experimental station as a cover to design ""Stingray,"" a ghastly air-glow-red fire-tornado weapon that can wipe out any city--and it will set him up as a megalo-power. Dozens of bodies drop, then, as Harry and Erica join forces to outwit Roth. . . yet is Erica really on Roth's side? Over-plotted and finally unbelievable, but Alistair Maclean readers might find it mildly enjoyable.

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 1981
Publisher: Doubleday